The local road network is vital to virtually to everyone. In winter, keeping the road network free from ice and snow can be a challenging task. Local Councils, maintain the local road network to allow safe movement of traffic and to minimise delays caused by bad weather. Transport Scotland is responsible for motorways and trunk roads.
The annual investment by Councils to endeavour to keep roads open for business and communities each winter, results in fleets of gritters and many staff mobilised across Council areas, putting months of planning into action. The high costs of dealing with ice and snow mean that Councils prioritise winter treatments on more important roads first.
Severe winter weather in February 2009, particularly in the south of England where the effects of winter are often less severe than in Scotland, caused a number of problems which led to the publication of a Report by the UK Roads and Lighting Group in August 2009, which included 19 recommendations for roads authorities.
The prolonged severe weather over December 2009/January 2010 stretched the ability of Councils to keep the local road network clear. Some councils had difficulty in replenishing salt stocks and mutual aid between public sector organisations was introduced by the Scottish Government.
SCOTS examined the August 2009 report and identified a number of priorities which are being investigated with a view to recommending best practice to members, to make sure that we are all best prepared to deliver on the policy and level of service that we have set.
SCOTS has gathered information on aspects of Councilsí responses to the severe weather and is in the process of collating data to again allow members to view the different practices that were adopted by Councils during this severe spell.