Staff out in force to keep city moving

Council workers are out in force to help get Edinburgh moving again.

The city has seen the worst snowfall since 1963 and staff have been out in all weather conditions to help clear snow from pavements and roads.

Taskforce staff which includes street cleaning and gardeners have been drafted in, along with refuse collection staff to help with the snow clearing efforts.

Road staff have also been out in force, gritting the main priority routes and making sure ambulance drivers, emergency vehicles and funeral cars have access to city streets.

Despite the bad weather, teachers have also pulled out all the stops to get to school - with an 80% attendance rate. And in the schools that have opened between 30% and 60% of pupils have made it into school.

Since the weekend, contractors have also been drafted in with JCB vehicles, supplementing the 75 road staff, 180 task force staff and 90 refuse staff already re-organised to boost efforts to keep the road network open.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environmental Leader, said:

"The city has experienced some of the heaviest snow to hit us in a number of years and I would like to send out a 'big thanks' to all staff who have been working flat out to help keep Edinburgh moving. It is inevitable that it is going to take some time to clear residential streets and I want to thank everyone for their patience.

"The public and local can also do their bit to help clear drives, pathways and pavements and to keep a look out for their elderly neighbours. Local businesses can also do their bit by helping to keep doorways clear from snow. Residents can also contact Social Care Direct on 200 2324 if they are worried about vulnerable people who need extra help."

City residents can also help to clear snow in local communities. The advice from the UK Government is that there's no law stopping people from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside their home or from public spaces. It's unlikely they will be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if they have cleared it carefully, by following the snow code.

Further severe weather updates

Waste Collection

Bin lorries have been operating a limited service, mainly in the city centre and main roads. However, refuse workers have been helping with snow clearing. For an update on refuse collections please see our severe weather pages: severe weather pages


Staff are working round the clock to keep the city's main roads clear.

Extra staff have been allocated to work on snow clearing. However, workers are experiencing difficulties with the exceptional levels of snow on roads and pavements as well as obstacles such as abandoned cars. Mechanical plant i.e. JCBs are being used to excavate and remove snow to gain access to many of these routes.

The Council has used over 2,000 tonnes of salt between 25 November and 1 December. Supplies were standing at around 5,000 tonnes, this morning.

Health and Care Services

There is no transport to any Council-owned or voluntary day centres for the rest of the week due to the risk it may pose to service users. However, staff are reporting to work and are contacting all service users and families. Staff will be assessing whether vulnerable adults and older people require any additional assistance and are taking appropriate action. 

All social work centres and our home care and re-ablement staff are reprioritising case loads to ensure emergency cases are covered such as meals and personal care.

Anyone who is concerned about someone who they feel should be getting assistance can contact the social care direct team at the Council on 0131 200 2324, and staff there will arrange appropriate follow up. In the evenings and weekend contact can be made with the out of hours service at 0800 731 6969. 

A local 4 x 4 charity (Lothian 4x4 Response) are providing two vehicles with drivers to take home care staff to visit vulnerable and older people including getting any shopping needed. 

Information on school closures will be published shortly.

Further updates will be provided as soon as available via the Council's severe weather pages, on @edinburgh_CC and @edintravel on Twitter and via local media, including Radio Forth.

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