Winter - how we plan and monitor
For the council the provision of the winter maintenance service is an all year round operation. During the summer months we review the Winter Maintenance Operational Plan (pdf 1.28MB) and make any necessary changes and improvements. We liaise with all other Scottish authorities, Transport Scotland, emergency services, external agencies as well as the UK Highways Agency and Department for Transport to make sure we continually improve our service and adopt best practice. We also work together with our neighbouring authorities and BEAR Scotland, the Trunk Roads Operating Company.
Before the start of the winter period, our Fleet Services team are busy carrying out maintenance and calibration of equipment to ensure all our plant is ready for the winter weather. We also continue to receive salt deliveries in order to build up our salt stock levels to a sufficient level prior to the winter months.
Forecasting and monitoring
During the winter months we have a Winter Operations Room which allows us to receive and process information from various sources on a 24-hour basis and react accordingly.
To ensure that we have the best possible information we commission specialist weather forecasting services. In addition, we have a series of ice detection sites throughout the road network linked by computer to our Winter Operations Room. This provides us with real time information on road conditions. These information streams, combined with local knowledge and expertise allows us to decide on the most appropriate treatment patterns required across our extensive network.
A network of automatic roadside weather recording stations (pdf 85KB), linked by computer to Roads offices and the Met Office, provide up-to-date information relating to local weather and road conditions.
Aberdeenshire is a geographically diverse area, covering landscapes from mountain to sea. Weather conditions can vary dramatically across the area, so personnel and equipment are dispersed so appropriate treatments can be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.