The Ayrshire Roads Alliance,formed by East and South Ayrshire Councils in April 2014, is ready for its first winter!
The winter service plans are in place, salt has been stock piled, the gritter drivers have carried out their dry runs and the Ayrshire Roads Alliance is officially ready for the onslaught of winter.
This is the first winter that the roads service within East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire is delivered by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, an innovative partnership which was formed back in April this year.
The Alliance was established to deliver excellent shared roads and transportation services to communities across East and South Ayrshire. The service is ensuring a consistent standard of service delivery while improving service efficiency and resilience and there is no better time to demonstrate this than during the cold winter months.
The weather may have been surprisingly warm in recent weeks but preparations are still ongoing for the eventual arrival of freezing conditions.
Winter service plans have been prepared for both authority areas which set out the detailed plans for winter. The plans are available from the Alliance website – www.ayrshireroadsalliance.org
Leaflets which highlight key points from the service plan including details of primary and secondary routes, how we decide when gritting will take place and helpful information about keeping safe when driving in severe conditions are available from libraries, local offices and online.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council and Chair of the Joint Committee said: "Preparations for winter are well in hand and the Alliance is ensuring that if either East or South Ayrshire is gripped by severe weather then robust action can be taken.
"The winter service plans are extremely detailed, but we have ensured that key points from the service plans are available via leaflets and the Alliance website so that people know what the Alliance will be doing to keep our roads clear and moving. It also sets out important information about community resilience and what you can do to prepare for severe weather."
Councillor Tom Cook, Spokesperson for Improving Community Safety said: "Although our gritting teams will do their best to clear the roads and footpaths, I would urge all pedestrians, but particularly the elderly to take additional care when leaving their houses as footpaths may still be slippery.
"I would also ask everyone to look out for elderly neighbours and offer to collect shopping or medicines for them."
Councillor John McDowall, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment commented: "Winter weather can be very changeable and it doesn't have to be snowing or icy to present problems – many people have been caught out by high winds or flooding, so if the weather is poor and your journey is not necessary, you may want to think twice about going out.
"If you do need to venture out in cold weather, think ahead and have de-icer and a scraper in your car. Consider having a bag pre-packed with some warm extra clothing, or a blanket, just in case you break down and have to wait some time to be rescued. It's remarkable how quickly a car can become cold when the engine stops powering the heater.
"You may also wish to pack a first aid kit, battery jump leads and, if you don't have a sat nav system, take a map to help with any unplanned diversions, as many roads can become blocked due to accidents in slippery conditions.
"A few simple steps before you go out can make all the difference and, with some simple forward planning, we can all ensure we're ready for winter."