North Ayrshire’s drivers are being urged to stay safe on the roads this winter as the colder weather begins to arrive.
The Council’s Roads Team are currently on weather watch for snow and ice forecast from now until April 2018.
A squad of 37 drivers and 17 multi-purpose vehicles will be available 24/7 to keep the area’s priority routes in use throughout winter.
North Ayrshire Council is responsible for the majority of roads in the area although trunk roads such as the A78, A737 and A738 are operated, maintained and gritted by Transerv Scotland.
Some 8,500 tonnes of road salt is stocked at the Council’s mainland storage depot in Kilwinning, with a further 1,600 tonne stockpile being kept at their depot at Brodick in Arran.
Salt is also stored at strategic points throughout the area for use by residents.
There are approximately 450 grit bins and 12 larger community bins from which residents can collect salt for personal use on roads, driveways or footpaths.
Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Our gritters have already been out and about to ensure our priority roads are kept clear and our round-the-clock measures will ensure we are prepared for the worst of the winter weather.”
Search ‘Winter Gritting’ on the Council’s website for a whole host of information including updates on gritting decisions, where to find your nearest grit bin and advice on clearing snow and ice from public footways. You can also follow North Ayrshire Council on twitter for regular updates.
North Ayrshire Council’s Road Safety Officer has also issued a call to all drivers asking them to stay safe on the roads.
Road Safety Officer, Colin Kay, says there are a number of steps drivers can take to ensure they’re not caught out during colder spells.
Colin says a few simple measures can help make life much easier for motorists as we await the worst of the winter weather. His top tips are:
ensure your vehicle is well prepared – have it fully serviced. Get your your battery checked before winter starts and carry out your own regular checks on the brakes, tyres, lights and make sure fluids are kept topped up
plan your journeys in advance – check local/national weather forecasts and make sure the condition of your route is safe to travel on – sign up to met office warnings, and
keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. Useful items to have handy should you become stranded due to a snow storm or flood include a mobile phone and car charger, shovel, wellington boots, gloves, de-icing equipment, torch, blankets and tow rope.
Colin said: “Driving in winter can be extremely dangerous given the extreme and often changing weather conditions such as snow, ice, rain, fog and long periods of darkness.
“We should all be well prepared for this hazardous weather – and be willing to adapt our driving style for each of them.
“However, there are steps that drivers can take now to ensure they’re prepared for whatever winter has in store. Simple things like checking their car is in tip-top condition and packing some snow essentials into their boot may only take a few moments now, but could be a lifesaver should they be caught out on the roads during a spell of extreme weather.
“We would urge all drivers to get themselves prepared and be safe on the roads this winter.”
More information and guidance is available on the Ready Scotland website: www.readyscotland.org