Winter roads teams clock up the miles

A  gritter in action on Aberdeenshire roads...but it was rare sight in what was a mild winter.
A gritter in action on Aberdeenshire roads...but it was rare sight in what was a mild winter.
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It may have been a mild winter but Aberdeenshire Council’s road crews still clocked up nearly 150,000 miles to keep motorists on the move.

Gritters and snowploughs were out and about on priority routes in the region covering the equivalent of 20 round-the-world trips.

As always, our drivers did a fantastic job

Philip McKay Aberdeenshire Council

Winter fleet vehicles made 4,595 runs across the primary treatment network, ploughing and gritting 1,040 miles of road on each trip, which over the season comes to a total of 149,273 miles of roads.

A total of 42,000 tonnes of salt and 45,000 labour hours were required to carry out the winter treatment plan, which ran from November through to this month.

The network is made up of 32 different gritting routes, which covers around 30% of Aberdeenshire’s total road network.

The winter of 2014/15 was not severe in terms of snowfall by local standards, however ice, snow and frost still affected routes in some areas, particularly in western Aberdeenshire and within the Cairngorm National Park.

The priority route between Alford, Tarland and Glenkindie had the largest total of miles treated, with gritters going out on 154 occasions to cover the 43-mile route.

Winter invariably leads to problems with potholes due to the freeze/thaw cycle and residents across the region are being encouraged to report road defects to ensure they are dealt with as swiftly as possible.

The council’s programme of post-winter roads repairs begins in May, however reports from residents are important as defects can occur in between the times roads are inspected.

Potholes can be reported to the local authority in a number of ways, and inspection and repair will be arranged on a priority basis.

Philip McKay, head of roads and landscape services, said the sheer size of the area can be a severe test during the winter.

He added: “Aberdeenshire Council is the second largest roads authority in Scotland and our network is spread across a diverse geographical area, which can prove challenging during the winter months.

“While we had relatively low volumes of snow fall there were still a large number of days where preventative treatments were required.

“Our gritter drivers still had a long winter of doing twice-daily runs to keep the network clear and moving safely – as always, they did a fantastic job.

“As the weather improves, our priority now is to repair any faults that have developed over winter, and move forward with our preventative surface dressing and resurfacing works programme.”

Members of the public can report potholes and road defects to the council by calling: 08456 081205, texting: 07624 820722, or visiting the website: http://bit.ly/1lJXM1U