Praise for winter weather efforts as normal service resumes
As business begins to return to usual after days of heavy snow and freezing temperatures, Council leaders have praised those working to keep the city moving during this period.
Most of the city’s services are expected to resume normal operations on Monday, including the reopening of schools, libraries and neighbourhood offices, though a yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place.
Efforts to ensure the delivery of essential services and to minimise disruption have seen care staff battling adverse conditions to visit frail, older or disabled people who rely on their support, Roads Services using 4x4 vehicles to deliver midwives, registrars and other workers to carry out essential duties and Edinburgh Bus Station staff pulling out the stops to make sure stranded customers were kept comfortable and warm.
Over the weekend, full day and night shifts of 22 gritting lorries and 11 mini-tractors were deployed to plough and salt priority routes, ensuring access to hospitals, care and residential homes, as well as treating many of the city’s more residential, lower priority routes where possible. Treating of bus routes has helped Lothian Buses reintroduce several services over the weekend, with a full service resuming on Monday.
More than 100 Waste and Cleansing and Parks staff joined in to clear pavements near doctors, chemists and key pedestrian areas in time for Monday morning, while Facilities Management pitched in to clear school grounds and additional teams worked to refill hundreds of grit bins across the city.
Members of the community have been recognised for doing their bit too, with many individuals and groups clearing and gritting local routes and visiting older and vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods. On Sunday, school pupils, parents and staff from a number of schools across the city held ‘snow parties’, pulling together to clear snow from school grounds in time for pupils’ return.
Council Leader, Councillor Adam McVey, said: “We’ve been challenged by extreme weather battering the country over the last few days, but thanks to the hard work of a great number of people across the Council, this hasn’t stopped us from delivering essential services to the people that need them the most.
“Whether it’s braving the elements to get to work to carry out vital duties or working round the clock to make sure key road and pavement routes are clear of snow for public use, our staff have done the Council proud during this trying period, and I would like to thank them for their dedication.”
Deputy Leader, Councillor Cammy Day, said: “We wouldn’t have been able to keep the city moving during the recent severe weather without the support of partners and volunteers from across the city.
“Local groups, neighbours and business-owners have done a fantastic job clearing residential streets of snow and visiting vulnerable community members, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work.”
Richard Hall, Managing Director of Lothian Buses, added: “Recent weather has posed a real challenge for people travelling around the city. By working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council and other neighbouring authorities we have been able to prioritise and clear vital bus routes – close coordination by our control room team along with the dedication of all our staff means that we’ve been able to recommence services for customers.”
While services are returning to normal, a yellow weather warning from the Met Office is still in place and members of the public are urged to take great care when travelling.
As of Monday, all schools, nurseries and early years centres will be open to the public, with the exception of Flora Stevenson Nursery, which will remain closed on Monday due to isolated flooding. South Morningside Nursery's afternoon session at Fairmilehead Church will also be closed on Monday and will resume on Tuesday. Full details are available on the Council website.
Neighbourhood offices, Household Waste Recycling Centres, museums and galleries and libraries are also anticipated to reopen.
Kerbside waste collections have resumed on main routes though at present crews are unable to access side streets as it is unsafe for vehicles, but are endeavouring to service all properties as soon as possible. All those whose kerbside collections have been missed should leave their bins out until collected and continue to present bins on the scheduled days. On-street communal bins are being serviced where practical.
Full services will be operated by Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams.
Further details of Council services are available on the website and on Twitter. Additional information on weather and travel can also be found on the Traffic Scotland website, or by following @edintravel and Police Scotland on Twitter.