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SLC Snow Gritters This Weekend
You may spot a fleet of gritters out on the roads this weekend around South Lanarkshire but no need to worry, it’s just a dress rehearsal, for the main event. Council chiefs are gearing up for the colder, darker months ahead.
This Sunday, 20th September, 48 gritters, 43 snowploughs, 24 tractors, six loaders and one snowblower, will be wheeled out of summer storage and checked over to ensure they are in top shape for the winter ahead.
Head of roads and transportation for South Lanarkshire, Gordon Mackay said: “The dry run in September gives us the chance to check all our equipment is in full working order and ensure new drivers are familiar with their gritting routes. We will have 35,000 tonnes of grit in stock ahead of the winter period and over 200 employees trained in winter duties."
“We know the winter will bring low temperatures and ice, it will bring snow and rain which could be heavy at times but what we do not know at this point is where and when conditions will be bad enough to cause disruption. Our specialist weather service lets us plan how the resources at our disposal are used but, if there is a big freeze or very heavy snow, it takes time to plough and grit roads and to clear pavements, so I would reiterate calls for people to make sure they are prepared and to heed any travel warnings which are issued.”
Some 200 roads workers will take the vehicles out on a dry run of the gritting routes which cover 52 per cent of South Lanarkshire’s road network — more than the Scottish average of 48 per cent.
Those priority gritting routes include access roads for hospitals, ambulance stations, fire stations, police offices, schools, roads that give the only access to rural communities and local and district distributor routes in urban areas.
However according to South Lanarkshire’s Chair of Enterprise Services Councillor, Chris Thompson, it is not just the council who need to plan and prepare for winter. Drivers are being warned that now is the time to make sure they are ready for the roads in winter.
Councillor Thompson said: “A little thought and a little effort now will be well worth the effort, especially if you are caught out by the winter weather. Put some basics in the boot of your car a warm blanket, some non-perishable snacks and something to drink, a torch and a shovel; perhaps some boots and thick socks if you have space. Ensure you have anti-freeze in your cooling system and winter screenwash, which you will need to remember to keep topped up throughout the winter.”