Getting Edinburgh ready for winter

Winter is coming - and the City of Edinburgh Council is getting ready for it.

David Gillies fills a hand spreader with salt

Salt has been stockpiled, gritting lorries have been serviced and tried and tested plans have been reviewed and refreshed to help the Capital deal with whatever the weather has in store for us over the coming months.

Twenty four/seven stand-by arrangements for treating the roads and pavements came into force late last month [October] and salt bins throughout Edinburgh are being checked and topped up where necessary.

A Ready for Winter communications campaign, launching today, will see information leaflets and posters distributed to neighbourhood offices, libraries and doctor and dental surgeries.  

The leaflets provide useful information about being prepared for winter and contact information so that residents can readily access the help and services they need.

A total of 16,000 tonnes of salt have been stockpiled; levels are monitored throughout the winter and topped up when required.

Local farmers, who have worked with the Council over the past three years gritting rural routes, have been engaged again this year. Contracts are also in place with external contractors should the Council need access to additional staff and equipment in extreme winter conditions.

The Council website's live winter weather pages provide information about priority road, cycle path and pavement gritting routes. Also on the site is an interactive map so that residents can find out where their nearest salt bin is.

If and when severe weather strikes, the Council will use its social media channels, website and local radio stations to keep residents updated on any impact on services.

Waste services skip locations have also been identified.  If the weather deteriorates and prevents waste collections from being made, skips will be installed at these locations for public use.

Councillor Adam McVey, Vice Convener of Transport and Environment, said: "We've had a few mild winters in recent years but we are never complacent - the harsh winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 are still fresh in everyone's memory. It's impossible to know at this stage what the weather has in store for us this year but we've been busy making sure we're as prepared as we can be to keep the city moving, whatever the elements throw our way. Our staff are all trained up, our equipment is ready for use and our salt stocks are topped up, with more available should it be needed.

"As ever, we'd encourage residents to ensure they find out everything they need to know about keeping themselves safe during the winter months. Pick up one of our Ready for Winter leaflets at your local library or doctors' surgery, visit our web pages or consult the Scottish Government's advice at"

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