Councils consulted on winter resilience

Ploughs from SBC Roads department depot prepare  for another day of ploughing and gritting on tuesday morning
Ploughs from SBC Roads department depot prepare for another day of ploughing and gritting on tuesday morning

Community council representatives and ward councillors are to be consulted on some winter treatment routes as part of Scottish Borders Council’s revised Winter Service Plan.

The new guide sets out priorities and how resources will be used during winter weather.

The winter service covers a 3,000km road network. Priority routes are determined by various factors such as traffic volume, bus routes and access to schools, shops and medical centres.

In towns where primary treatment is carried out in cold weather officers will consult with ward councillors and representatives of community councils to finalise secondary routes within the towns, including Coldstream, Duns, and Eyemouth.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “A number of our larger communities have designated primary salting routes and in determining a secondary network for these towns we felt local member and community input would be beneficial.

“The creation of a defined secondary route network for these towns and the wider Borders ensures that we can provide detailed information to the public on the next level of treatment that is being provided after primary salting.

“The previous arrangement left the priority of secondary treatment open to interpretation and resulted in inconsistencies in service delivery. The new prioritisation of routes is not a reduction in the winter service, it simply makes our winter service more efficient and effective, ensuring that secondary routes are treated in order of priority.”

Currently 37 per cent of the council’s road network is treated under primary salting. In creating a specific secondary network officers have included any A and B class roads not covered under primary treatment and remaining school and timber transport routes. This covers 14 per cent of the road network and these will be salted after the primary routes if there is time and resources available, and it is believed that the freezing conditions will continue. Remaining routes will only be treated when extended winter weather conditions persist and all primary and secondary routes have been treated and resources become available.