Winter is coming - and you should be ready

Winter is just round the corner
Winter is just round the corner

Be prepared for the winter weather, is the message from South Lanarkshire Council this week.

Running in tandem with the Scottish Government’s ‘Ready Scotland’ campaign, the council's winter awareness week aims to remind communities that winter, and its potential effects on getting about, are just around the corner.

The local authority has its winter fleet and 24/7 teams on full standby ready for the winter but Councillor John Anderson, who chairs the community and enterprise Committee wants to encourage the wider community to get ready too.

He said: “Our winter plan includes gritting 52% of the road network when ice or snow is forecast as well as town centre footpaths.

"These gritting routes include roads giving access to hospitals, ambulance depots, fire stations, police stations and schools, A and B class roads and distributor roads in urban areas.

"In our rural areas we will also grit roads which provide the only way in our out of a community. As a rule, however, gritting routes do not include residential roads and paths.”

“And, as winter increasingly brings high winds and heavy rainfall we are also on high alert around the clock for problems caused by flooding or fallen trees.”

But with a little forward thinking everyone can be ready.

Drivers should ensure their cars are topped up with anti-freeze and screenwash, and consider keeping an emergency kit in the car with a blanket, water, snacks, a torch and a shovel; and they should think about sunglasses, which can be vital to combat glare from the low winter sun.

Cyclists should make sure bikes are in good working order and lights/reflectors are clean, and they should always wear fluorescent and reflective materials and a helmet.

And at home everyone should have a snow shovel to clear paths or drives and, if possible, the footpaths outside their home. They should also have a stock of salt and torches with charged batteries handy. And they could help older or less able neighbours.

Around South Lanarkshire there are more than 1900 grit bins to help neighbourhoods grit roads and pavements around their homes.

The council’s roads team is on stand-by 24/7 throughout the winter (usually until the end of March) and plans its precautionary gritting schedule based on up to date forecast information.

During the winter alert period, the council will issue up to date information, including severe weather alerts and advice regularly through its website as well as through twitter @southlancouncil and @slcroads and on its new South Lanarkshire Council Facebook page.