As clocks go back an hour, signalling the official beginning of winter-time, North Ayrshire Council has set aside almost £1m to ensure the area is ready for any weather problems over the coming months.
Ardrossan councillor Tony Gurney, the Council’s SNP Cabinet member for Environment and Infrastructure, said, “Winter throws-up many challenges for us all but we can overcome these by working together.
“I am confident North Ayrshire Council has the right resources and the necessary experience to tackle the worst of the weather, and I would urge motorists and householders to take heed of the very sound advice issued by the Council and the Scottish Government.”
After two relatively mild winters in a row, research is showing many members of the public have become more relaxed about potential weather-related problems. A Council spokesperson said, “Taking precautions now can save a lot of trouble should temperatures plummet in the months ahead – from having an emergency kit in the car to preparing an evacuation plan for the house or noting down emergency numbers.
“The Council’s roads team will be on weather watch from October 24th until April 10th next year, or even longer if the winter drags on.”
A squad of 40 drivers will be on-call 24/7 during the cold spell to keep gritters and snow-ploughs on the road, working to a detailed plan designed to keep priority routes open.
Some 9,000-tonnes of road salt will be stocked at North Ayrshire’s two main storage depots – 7,000-tonnes at Goldcraigs in Kilwinning and 2,000-tonnes at Brodick on the Isle of Arran. Salt is also stored at strategic points throughout North Ayrshire for use by residents, with 400 street bins and 13 larger community bins from which people can collect salt for personal use on roads, driveways or footpaths.
The Council spokesperson explained, “Weather forecasts are relayed three times a day - literally morning, noon and night – to the roads team who use the information to determine whether or not a snow and ice alert is issued.
“Householders should also take certain measures at the start of winter to avoid severe weather problems and North Ayrshire Council now has a one-stop helpline number that tenants can use for information and to report emergencies - 01294 310000 - and it operates day and night, every single day of the year.”