Reports of an incoming heatwave might be making headlines, but Aberdeenshire Council’s road crews are still busy cleaning off their gritters and snowploughs.
Road teams clocked up just under 150,000 miles treating priority carriageway this winter, which is equivalent to 20 round-the-world trips!
Winter fleet vehicles made a total of 4,595 runs across the local authority’s Primary Treatment Network, ploughing and gritting some 1,040 miles of road on each full deployment.
Over the season this comes to a total of 149,273 miles of roads treated.
Meanwhile, a total of 42,000 tonnes of salt and 45,000 labour hours were required to carry out the winter treatment plan, which spanned from November to April.
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 Aberdeenshire’s standards, however ice, snow and frost still affected roads in some areas, particularly in western Aberdeenshire and within the Cairngorms National Park.
The priority route between Alford, Tarland and Glenkindie had the greatest total treated miles, with gritters going out 154 times to treat the 43-mile route.
Winter invariably leads to problems with potholes due to the freeze/thaw cycle and residents across Aberdeenshire are 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 next month, however reports from residents are important as defects can occur in between the local authority’s roads inspections.
Potholes can be reported to the council in a variety of ways and inspection and repair will be arranged on a priority basis.
Commenting on the programme, Philip McKay, the council’s head of roads and landscape Sservices, said: “Aberdeenshire Council is the second largest roads authority in Scotland.
“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 are being urged to report any potholes and road defects to the council.
They can do so by calling 08456 081205, texting: 07624 820722, or visiting the council’s website at www.aberdeenshirecouncil.gov.uk