The winter maintenance plan for 2021/22 winter has been agreed at committee

Aberdeen’s roads and pavements winter gritting plan including arrangements in place for a potential coronavirus outbreak and an anticipated spend of £1.57million has been agreed by councillors at operational delivery committee.

A report to committee about the Roads Winter Service Plan said if winter conditions are more severe additional budget would be spent - the total spend for the previous three winters was £2.1million in 2020/21, £1.339million in 2019/20 and £1.729million in 2018/19.

Routes will revert to those used for winter 2019/20 apart from the section on Union Street and nearby streets for the remaining Spaces for People interventions.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “It is good to hear from officers that once again our services are ready for the oncoming winter. We know that our staff cannot be everywhere at once but they do go above and beyond to ensure the city’s key roads and pavements are kept gritted according to an agreed prioritised plan.

“We all hope that the oncoming winter will be a moderate one however it is reassuring to know that we are prepared and if there are adverse weather conditions we also have members of the public willing to help others by spreading salt on the areas which are not at the highest priority.”

The report said it is not feasible to salt every road, pavement and cycleway around the city at the same time so they are being prioritised, with main routes given top priority. Roads are split into priority one, two and three routes, and pavements/cycleways are split into priority one and two routes.

Priority one roads are split into gold and silver routes. The gold routes include the strategic roads and all the main distributer roads, access roads for emergency service vehicles, and they also include the de-trunked sections of the A96 and A92. The gold routes should not become impassable to traffic 24 hours a day, except in abnormal conditions.

The silver routes include main secondary distributer roads, and link roads and local access roads with special circumstances such as steep slopes, and they should not become impassable to traffic between the hours of 4.45am and 9pm, except in abnormal conditions.

Link roads and local access roads that do not have any special circumstances such as steep slopes etc are priority 2 or 3 routes.

The report to committee said last winter, there were several enquiries in relation to Heathryfold Circle and officers agreed to review what might be possible to help residents of the area. Heathryfold Circle will continue to be treated as a top priority road once priority 1 routes have been completed as part of the first phase of priority 2 roads. Officers have identified two locations where it may be possible to place one tonne salt bags.

The report to committee said salt stock levels have been taken back up to about 11,750 tonnes - 11,760 tonnes was used last year - and this stock can be topped up with regular programmed deliveries throughout winter.

There are currently more than 900 salt bins throughout the city based on historic requests and the committee agreed to continue the policy of not issuing any additional salt bins but to further promote the issue of 1 tonne bags of salt for community use.

The one-tonne community salt bags are given to residents or community groups willing to carry out self-help winter treatment. Additional small bags will be provided to help distribute the salt in the community. There will be a cut-off date for applications of 1 November.

In addition, there are 20 large capacity grit bins, introduced in late 2018, from which the public can collect salt in locations such as supermarket or community centre car parks.

The report to committee said staff processes and procedures developed for coronavirus last winter will be used again if required.