I attended a presentation last Friday by Land and Environmental Services on their Winter Maintenance Plan. This set out the practical steps the Council will take to try and keep the roads and main pavements clear of snow and ice over the months ahead.
The Council bases its actions on weather forecasts, which are received through the day and into the evening. Gritters are then deployed using very high-tech devices - similar to sat nav - which ensure that the gritters stay on their route, don't miss any areas, and even more impressively, don't grit the same areas twice. The technology controls the spreading mechanism at the back of the gritter, so if you see one driving about the city not spraying out grit, it's because it's on its way somewhere else. This means the Council doesn't waste grit and ensures that the stocks we have will last longer. I was reassured to hear though that Glasgow's stocks of grit are high, having been replenished over the summer months.
Councillors were also given a list of frequently asked questions, which I thought would be useful to put on here:
Q1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHERE TO SALT?
A1 The Council has agreed a set of priorities in the event of snow or ice on road surfaces being forecast.
Top priority is given to:-
· Major Bus Routes;
· Emergency Facility Access Routes.
Lowest priority is given to:-
· Private Roads.
A list of agreed precautionary treatment targets can be found in our Winter Maintenance Plan along with treatment priorities in the continued presence of snow or ice on the City’s roads within normal working hours.
Q2. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHEN TO SALT?
A2. Land & Environmental Services has a contract with the Metreological Office to supply weather forecasts for Glasgow each day from the beginning of October until mid May.
The Service has also installed ice stations at 5 selected locations within the City which, together with the facility to access 15 other stations in adjacent authorities, help to improve the accuracy of forecasts. Staff can access information from these stations via portable computers.
Pre-gritting operations are undertaken from the beginning of November until the end of March on a standby arrangement. Ad hoc gritting is done outwith this period.
Q3 ARE FOOTWAYS (OR PAVEMENTS) TREATED?
A3. Yes. A list of our footway treatment priorities can be found in our Winter Maintenance Plan.
Q4. HOW CAN I GET SALT?
A4. You can visit a Land & Environmental Services’ Depot and pick up some salt (maximum 10 kgs) or take salt from one of approximately 500 bins located around the City.
Q5. HOW DO I GET A GRIT BIN RELOCATED?
A5. Grit bin locations have been agreed with local communities. Further details of the Council’s policy on grit bins can be found in the Council Minutes.
If you want to request that a bin be relocated, please contact Land & Environmental Services.
Q6. HOW DO I GET MY ROAD GRITTED?
A6. Check if your road is covered by the criteria for pre-gritting as per Section 3 of the Winter Maintenance Plan. Roads outwith the priority criteria will be treated in accordance with Section 3.3.1 in the Winter Maintenance Plan.