Published 08 October 2020

Additional pavement gritting introduced in West Dunbartonshire last year Is set to continue as part of the Council’s winter plan for 2020/21.

The extra treatment on priority footways, which includes routes close to schools, healthcare centres, sheltered housing complexes and transport hubs, will be undertaken outwith normal working hours as required in response to snow and ice.

A team of 26 gritting operatives from the Council’s Greenspace service will be on standby overnight/from the early hours to undertake the additional duties each day between November and March.

The decision follows the introduction of standby teams to treat pavements with high pedestrian activity ahead of the morning peak times between January and March this year.

A report presented to a Council meeting last week (Wed 30 Sept), outlined three options for gritting measures to members, and it was agreed the scheme should continue as earlier this year.

The option is expected to cost £80,610 for the 21 weeks between November and March.

A further report to evaluate the measures taken will be brought back to a future meeting of Council, alongside a report from West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Partnership to outline the impact of additional gritting outside sheltered  housing, and the reduction of accidents there as a result.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “As always, a lot of planning goes on behind the scenes ahead of winter to ensure we are prepared for the worst types of weather, and a lot of consideration is given to how to keep our residents moving safely.

“When the additional gritting was introduced back in January, the feedback at that point was very positive and I know that schools in particular found the early morning gritting to be extremely beneficial to their pupils, staff and parents. So I am pleased that we have agreed this should continue this coming winter.”

Councillor Marie McNair, Vice Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “I welcome any measure that helps to make our residents, especially those who are elderly or with a disability, feel safer when going about their day during the winter months.

“Previously footway gritting was only undertaken during normal working hours, but the standby team will be on hand to get out well before 8am on our coldest days to make sure that our pavements are safe under foot.”