Winter service plan for Aberdeen approved

A winter service plan for roads and pavements was today approved at the Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee.

The plan includes expenditure of £1.727million within the council’s approved 2016/17 budgets for winter maintenance and emergencies.

The report to committee said 10,000tonnes of salt were expected to be in stock. In 2015/16 a total of 7,763tn of salt were used, with 9,486tn used in 2014/15 and 5,600tn in in 2013/14.

Aberdeen City Council’s Communties, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “The Winter Services Plan sets out priority operations across the city but with all operations based on weather, it is not possible to alleviate risks completely; we can only manage them.”

The report highlighted the increasing uptake in the free 1tn salt bags for community groups for carrying out self-help winter treatment. In 2015/16 82 bags were issued and 71 bags in 2014/15, with feedback about the scheme being generally very positive.

There are more than 800 salt bins throughout the city however the 1tn salt bags hold a far greater quantity of salt and therefore last longer as well as being relatively quick to replenish.

Over the past five years, considerable investment has reduced the average age of the winter vehicles fleet. Further investment will continue, maintaining a fleet of an age which is serviceable and reduces downtime for repair. Future investment will continue with the purchase of multi-use vehicles that can quickly be converted to carry out other specialist tasks such as gully emptying when not required for gritting.

To enhance communications to the public, a Winter Operations section was introduced on the Council’s website five years ago providing information on gritter routes and live information of operations on the main routes

The report outlined future developments as the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) nears completion, indicating that it is anticipated that a considerable length of the current trunk road network, within the city boundary, will be de-trunked.

The maintenance of these de-trunked roads is expected to be transferred to Aberdeen City Council, meaning that the continuation of the current level of winter maintenance along these sections would result in an additional responsibility to the roads operations budgets.