This is our Winter Service Plan for Carriageways and Footways. It sets out the categorisation of priorities and the treatment and timings to be accorded to each of these. The Winter Service Schedule which augments the Plan will provide details of staff rotas, staff and other useful telephone numbers, route and footway priorities and other management arrangements.

    Statutory duty

    Winter service forms an integral part of the road maintenance function and Falkirk Council, by virtue of the Roads (Scotland) Act, 1984 (Section 34) has a statutory duty to 'take such steps as it considers reasonable to prevent snow and ice endangering the safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles over public roads'.


    Objective

    Falkirk Council’s objective in relation to winter service is the reduction as far as possible of the effects of adverse weather. To provide travelling conditions as safe as is reasonably possible having regard to financial constraints.

    In order to achieve this objective it is recognised that a priority treatment system is required which will concentrate on the more important routes and then be extended to the less important routes when resources become available.

    The winter service essentially comprises the following types of treatment:

    • Precautionary salt treatment
    • Treatment of ice
    • Treatment of snow
    • Provision of grit bins

    These types of treatment are generally carried out in accordance with the Scottish Government Technical Memorandum SH 3/76, Scottish Government Code of Good Practice and Well Managed Highway Infrastructure (A Code of Practice), Section B7.


    Winter Dates

    Prior to each winter the Roads and Grounds Manager will determine the various dates and time periods relevant to the Policy and will arrange for the appropriate control arrangements to be in place during these times, based on the guidelines below.

    The dates will be as realistic as possible however the unpredictability of the climate may lead to the need for action outwith the "Winter Service Period".

    The following is given in general terms but actual dates depend on how the weeks and dates of the months relate to each year.

    Core Winter Period

    The Core Winter Period will run from the Friday nearest to the 1st of November until the Friday nearest to the 31st March, however, the end date should take into account the timing of the Easter break.

    Lead-in and Lead-out Periods

    The Lead-in to the Core Winter Period will be the two weeks prior to the start of the core period.

    The Lead-out of the Core Winter Period will continue until the Friday nearest 30th April.

    During the Lead-in and Lead-out times up to 50 percent of the winter gritting fleet will operate on a stand-by basis.

    Footway Treatment

    Footway treatment will be carried out during the Core Winter Period. Operatives taking part in footway treatment will operate on a standby basis during the months of December and January.


    Duty Manager

    The Duty Manager shall be the Roads and Grounds Services Manager or a nominated representative. The Roads and Grounds Services Manager will be responsible for appointing a rota of Duty Managers. The Duty Manager will be responsible for the implementation of the Winter Service Plan and it’s identified procedures within the Falkirk Council area.

    The Duty Manager will make decisions on the implementation of Falkirk Council’s winter service actions to assist in the safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles over public roads and to maintain the availability and reliability of the road network.

    The Duty Manager will be responsible for receipt of weather forecasts from the forecast provider by 14:00hrs each day and making decisions on the relevant winter action required. The Duty Manager will arrange for a copy of the forecast to be transmitted electronically to all the required

    forecast recipients. The information to be included is as follows: -

    • Duty Manager’s name.
    • Contact Telephone number
    • Carriageway priority level of treatment
    • Precautionary treatment start time
    • Precautionary treatment rate of salt spread
    • Footway priority level of treatment
    • When weather conditions or minimum road surface temperature would normally necessitate a precautionary treatment, but if no treatment is proposed, justification shall be required for this decision i.e. no moisture is expected on the road surface, residual salt levels are high etc.

    The Duty Manager will attend a training course run by the forecast provider at least once every 2 years.

    The Duty Manager will have arrangements in place to ensure that all such relevant information is made available to the winter service operatives on duty.

    The Duty Manager, upon notification of a change to the forecast which may necessitate a revision to the agreed daily action plan, will arrange with the Duty Officer to issue a revised action plan and for it to be transmitted electronically to the various forecast recipients. The Duty Manager will have arrangements in place to ensure that any updated forecast or revised winter response is timeously made available to the Duty Officers and Duty Supervisors on duty.

    A rota of all Duty Managers on duty will be maintained in the Winter Service Procedures manual and will be held at the Duty Officer Control Room.


    Duty Officer

    The Duty Officer will be responsible for recording the winter activities carried out in the Duty Log, providing the information detailed below.

    • Routes gritted including start / finish times and spread rates
    • Routes ploughed
    • Known collision
    • Roads closed/restricted
    • Salt used
    • Known vehicle and plant breakdowns
    • Weather forecast and Met Office Weather Warnings
    • Action decisions

    The Duty Officer will:

    • Have no direct operational responsibility.
    • Will attend a training course run by the Forecast Provider at least once every 2 years
    • Be fully aware of the Policy, Procedures and Winter Service Plans of Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils
    • Be responsible for updating or amending the planned decision on treatment, liaising with the Duty Manager as required.
    • Be responsible for ensuring that all rosters for staff on duty are collated and available at all times together with all necessary contact numbers.
    • Be responsible for maintaining records of all reports received by telephone and documenting the action taken.
    • Be trained in the interrogation of all information systems relating to the Winter Service and the interpretation of information received.
    • In conjunction with Duty Supervisors, monitor current weather and road surface conditions.
    • Maintain regular contact with the Duty Supervisors logging calls and transferring information where required.
    • Be fully acquainted with weather forecasts and the intended action levels, thereafter initiating any action required and discussing mobilisation requirements with the Duty Supervisors
    • Ensuring that the extent of mobilization is commensurate with prevailing/anticipated road conditions.
    • Maintain an awareness of the level of activity ongoing or required throughout the three Council areas.
    • Be familiar with customer care / enquiry procedures and liaise with external organisation e.g. other Local Authorities, Police, AA etc.
    • Submit a brief activity report for each day of the week prior to 0900 hrs.

    A rota of all Duty Officers and Duty Supervisors on duty will be maintained within the Winter Service Schedule and held at the Control Room.

    Duty Officer Control Room

    During the Winter Period, including the lead-in and lead-out periods, a Duty Officer Control Room will operate from a central location between 5pm and 9am on weekdays. The Duty Officer will work from home on a standby arrangement on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter period unless the 2 to 5 day forecast predicts adverse weather over the weekend period. A decision will be taken on the Thursday each week regarding the requirement to work from the Duty Officer Control Room.

    During adverse weather, a central location is desirable to allow easy access to weather forecast data, weather radar, roads sensor data and the forecast provider's consultation service. It acts as a "hub of communication and information in the effective management of the service in the 3 Council areas. This will also allow communications with the Police, members of the public and the local authority’s 24hr emergency controls. At the times specified above the co-ordination of winter operations together with the upkeep of the essential duty log is also efficiently managed by the Duty Officer from the control room. The Duty Officer control room is currently located at Earls Road Depot in Grangemouth.

    Duty Officers will operate on a rota system, alternating this duty with officers from Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils as per the “Tri-Council Partnering Agreement 2020 - 2023".


    Weather and Other Emergencies

    The Winter Service is not an emergency operation in the traditional sense. It is reasonably predictable that certain conditions will pertain at times during the winter and hence a certain amount of planning can be made in anticipation. Other weather emergencies and the consequences are less predictable and less preparation can be made. However, procedures must allow for the efficient and early response to weather emergencies of any kind and other emergencies such as road accidents, landslips etc.

    Since a control system exists for winter purposes, it is logical to handle other emergencies through the same procedure at the appropriate time of year. Outwith the winter period responsibility and control will be with the Roads and Grounds Manager or nominated representative(s).

    The Roads and Grounds Manager or Duty Manager may place additional staff as required on standby on receipt of an adverse weather forecast.


    Carriageways

    The service provided will be based mainly on the road's importance as a traffic route, with consideration being given to public transport services.

    The priorities and the relevant road types are defined below together with the relevant treatment standards and operational times.

    Priorities, Treatment Standards and Operational Times

    In ice conditions, treatment will be the passage of a gritting vehicle travelling in one direction over the carriageway or footway spreading salt or sand/grit/salt mix. The area treated will be limited to the spread distribution of the equipment utilised.

    For snow conditions, treatment will be the passage of a gritting vehicle travelling in both directions clearing snow over the width of the plough. This will then be treated with salt or a mixture of grit/sand/salt.

    Priority C1 Carriageways

    Council roads of primary importance and which form a strategic network, these being Strategic, Main Distributor and Secondary Distributor Roads and comprise main urban traffic routes, the main routes to larger schools, major bus routes and routes to main Emergency Service establishments. A list of all Priority 1 routes will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and will be identified on the Council website.

    Treatment and Times

    • Precautionary salt treatment 24 hours per day.
    • Treatment of ice 24 hours per day.
    • Treatment of snow 24 hours per day.

    Falkirk Council owned surfaced car parks and their access roads from the C1 routes will be treated along with the C1 routes.

    Priority C2 Carriageways

    These are identified roads of lesser importance as traffic routes and important rural routes. In terms of hierarchy, these routes are Link Roads and include main urban spine roads into housing and industrial areas where there are difficult bends or steep inclines and are particularly prone to icing. A list of all Priority 2 routes will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and will be identified on the Council website.

    Treatment and Times

    Any treatment on Priority 2 routes will normally be carried out between 5am and 10pm.

    • Precautionary salt treatment on receipt of a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.
    • Treatment of ice on receipt of a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.
    • Treatment of snow on receipt of a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.

    The Duty Manager should be satisfied that the following criteria are met:

    • Precautionary salting on Priority 2 routes should only be carried out in exceptional circumstances.
    • The general outlook established from forecasts and other weather information, is that the prevailing ice and / or snow conditions are likely to continue to exist unbroken beyond 24 hours from the initial onset. Consideration should be given to rural routes which may not have defrosted in line with urban routes.
    • The treatment of Priority 2 routes should not be detrimental to the level of service required on Priority 1 routes.

    Priority C3 Carriageways

    These are the most significant of the remainder of the road network which are Local Access Roads in terms of hierarchy.

    Treatment and Times

    These routes will only be treated in exceptional weather conditions, and only when resources permit. Should resources allow, consideration will be given to the higher level roads in the first instance. Treatment will require the authorisation of the Roads and Grounds Manager in consultation with the Duty Manager.

    Priority 3 routes wil normally be treated during normal working hours (deemed to be 7:30am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7:30am – 12:30pm on a Friday inclusive). No treatment will be will be carried out beyond these times unless authorised by the Roads and Grounds Manager or Head of Service.

    Treatment should not be detrimental to the level of service required on routes of Priorities 1 and 2 and there should be uniformity in the timing of their introduction in all affected areas.

    The Duty Manager should be satisfied that the following criteria are met:

    • The general outlook established from forecasts and other weather information is that the prevailing ice and/or snow conditions are likely to continue to exist unbroken beyond 48 hours from the initial onset.

    Priority C4 Carriageways

    The remainder of the Local Access Road network.

    Treatment and Times

    It is extremely unlikely that these routes will receive any treatment. These routes will only be treated in exceptional weather conditions, and only when resources permit.

    Treatment will require the authorisation of the Roads and Grounds Manager or Head of Service in consultation with the Duty Manager. The treatment will deal with any remaining areas presenting greater difficulties than general and progressively move onto roads of lesser difficulty.

    Any treatment on Priority 4 routes will normally only be carried out during working hours (deemed to be be 7:30am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7:30am – 12:30pm on a Friday inclusive). No treatment will be will be carried out beyond these times unless authorised by the Roads and Grounds Manager or Head of Service.

    Treatment should not be detrimental to the level of service required on routes of Priorities 1, 2 and 3 and there should be uniformity in the timing of their introduction in all affected areas.


    Footways and Cycleways

    The service provided will be based largely on the importance of the footway/cycleway as a pedestrian/cyclist route both in terms of pedestrian volumes and the importance of the destination.

    The priorities and the relevant footway types are defined below together with the relevant treatment standards and operational times.

    Footway is the term for the pedestrian walking surface or pavement adjacent, parallel or relatively close to the carriageway.

    Footpath is the term for a pedestrian walking surface between or remote from carriageways.

    Cycleways will only be treated where they form part of the carriageway or footway and will be treated in accordance with the priority for that section of carriageway or footway

    Priorities, Treatment Standards and Operational Times

    In ice conditions treatment will be the passage of a gritting vehicle travelling in one direction over the cycleway or footway spreading salt or a mixture of sand/grit and salt. The salt or a mixture of sand/grit and salt will be spread within the limitations of each individual vehicle.

    For snow conditions treatment will be the passage of a gritting vehicle clearing snow over the width of the plough to a level of 10mm. This will then be treated with salt or a mixture of grit/sand and salt will be spread within the limitations of each individual vehicle.

    Priority F1 Footways

    Footways with the highest pedestrian usage. In hierarchy terms, these will be prestige, primary and secondary walking routes. These include main town and village shopping areas, pedestrian precincts, main routes to urban schools, main access routes to hospitals, clinics, identified public buildings, major sheltered housing complexes and other high risk areas. A list of all Priority 1 footway routes will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and will be identified on the Council website.

    Treatment and Times

    • Precautionary salt treatment only on a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.
    • Treatment of ice only on a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.
    • Treatment of snow 24 hours per day on a specific instruction from the Duty Manager depending on the severity of conditions and resources available.

    The Duty Manager should be satisfied that the following criteria are met:

    • The general outlook established from forecasts and other weather information, is that ice and/or snow conditions are likely to continue beyond 08:00hrs.

    Priority F2 Footways

    These are footways of a lesser importance, generally Link Footways for which a list will be held within the Winter Service schedule and will be identified on the Council website. These routes include main pedestrian routes in major housing developments and the main access routes to sheltered housing complexes and other establishments. Where day centres for older people or people with special needs have been identified as having substantial pedestrian usage, these will be treated under this category.

    Treatment and Times

    Any treatment on Priority F2 routes will normally be carried out during working hours (deemed to be 7:30am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7:30am – 12:30pm on a Friday inclusive).

    • No precautionary salt treatment.
    • Treatment of ice, in so far as is practicable, only on a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.
    • Treatment of snow, in so far as is practicable, on a prioritised basis depending on conditions and resources available and only on a specific instruction from the Duty Manager.

    The Duty Manager should be satisfied that the following criteria are met:

    • The general outlook established from forecasts and other weather information, is that the prevailing ice and / or snow conditions are likely to continue beyond midday 24 hours after the initial onset
    • The treatment of Priority F2 routes should not be detrimental to the level of service required on Priority F1 footways.

    Priority F3 Footways

    The remainder of the footway network. It is extremely unlikely that these routes will receive any treatment.

    Treatment and Times

    • These routes will only be treated in prolonged adverse weather conditions, and only when resources permit.

    Resilience Plan (including COVID-19 restrictions)

    The Resilience Plan is aimed at clearing around 150 km of Strategic and Main Distributor Roads and recognises that the treatment in adverse conditions can take longer than standard gritting procedures

    The resilience routes target the most important roads within the network hierarchy i.e. Strategic Routes and Main Distributor Routes. These do not include all of those identified as Priority C1 carriageway routes generally. This ensures that the gritting fleet can cope.

    In exceptional circumstances when routes identified within the Resilience Plan cannot be kept open, the Duty Manager may issue instructions to further prioritise route treatment.

    COVID-19 Restrictions

    The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on all Council services since its outbreak in March 2020. The outbreak resulted in a significant number of the Operational workforce (>30%) shielding or being absent from the workplace due to underlying health conditions. The Service has considered the risks of disruption from a second outbreak and derived minimum Levels of Service that we will provide, in accordance with the UK and Scottish Government's Coronavirus Alert Levels shown in the table below.

    These Minimum Levels of Service may override treatments specified in the Resilience Plan.

    Local COVID-19 Alert Level Restrictions Carriageways Footways Grit Bins
    Level 0 Near Normality Indoor = max 8 people from 3 households
    Outdoor = Max 15 people from 5 households
    Normal Winter Service as per Policy Normal Winter Service as per Policy Normal Winter Service as per Policy
    Level 1 Medium This is for areas where restrictions continue to be in place
    Indoor and Outdoor = max 6 people from 2 Households
    Normal Winter Service as per Policy Likely Normal Winter Service (as resources permit) Likely Normal Winter Service (as resources permit)
    Level 2 High This is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.
    No Indoor meetings
    Hospitality = 6 people from 2 households outdoor only
    Pubs permitted to sell alcohol with a main meal
    Reduced Winter Service. C3’s will not be treated Limited Out of Hours Service- Only F1 Routes will be treated (likely during normal working hours).
    No F2 treatments
    Reduced Level of Service - Grit bins refilled maximum of twice per month
    Level 3 Very High This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary and are based on discussions between central and local government.
    Alcohol sales not permitted
    Restaurants remain open under strict conditions
    Limited Service
    C1 network only
    No C2 / C3 treatments
    Limited Out of Hours Service- Only F1 Routes will be treated (likely during normal working hours).
    No F2 treatments
    Reduced Level of Service - Grit bins refilled maximum of twice per month
    Level 4 Lockdown This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where lockdown restrictions are in place. The lockdown restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary and are based on discussions between central and local government.
    Non Essential shops closed
    Some outdoor meetings allowed
    Schools will stay open
    Limited Service Winter Resilience Network only Service Suspended Service Suspended

    Snow Conditions

    In order to keep Strategic and Main Distributor Routes open during times of significant snowfall and to allow traffic to flow freely a separate list of snow routes has been introduced. This will be brought into operation when continuous snow is forecast and likely to give significant accumulations in excess of 100mm over a substantial part of the Council area and expected to remain in untreated locations for a prolonged period before a natural thaw disperses it.

    Procedures for the treatment of ice and snow are established and relates specifically to the management of extreme winter snowfall events. During snow conditions, when designated routes are likely to be affected by significant levels of lying snow, gritters will be deployed on these snow routes until satisfactory snow clearance has been achieved.

    The formulated snow routes will ensure that Strategic and Main Distributor Routes are treated with priority. Instructions will be issued for work to proceed on the rest of the Priority 1 Carriageway, F1 Footway and Secondary Carriageway and footway routes once the snow routes are in an acceptable condition.

    This takes account of a number of factors which affect the removal of snow from carriageways and footways: - the temperature of the road surface; the timing of the snow; day or night; the volume of traffic using the roads; a pre-planned application of salt has been undertaken prior to the snow.

    Snow Routes for Carriageways

    Snow routes are aimed at clearing around 150 km of Strategic and Main Distributor Roads and recognises that the clearing and treatment of snow can take longer than standard gritting procedures due to lying snow requiring to be ploughed in both driving directions.

    The snow routes target the most important roads within the network hierarchy i.e. Strategic Routes and Main Distributor Routes. These do not include all of those identified as Priority C1 carriageway routes generally. This ensures that the gritting fleet can cope. Whilst ploughing is in operation salt should be spread over the ploughed area to prevent snow from compacting.

    In exceptional circumstances when routes identified cannot be kept open, the Duty Manager may issue instructions to further prioritise route treatment.

    Treatment of Carriageways in Snow Conditions

    The objective is to keep as much of the network as safe and free flowing for traffic as possible. Priority will be given to:

    • Snow Routes
    • Remainder of the Priority 1 Gritting Route.
    • Priority 2 Gritting routes

    A list of all Priority snow routes will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and will be identified on the Council website.

    Treatment and Times

    • Precautionary salt treatment 24 hours per day.
    • Treatment of snow 24 hours per day.

    As the snow falls treatment will commence and continue until the snow has been moved and is no longer accumulating on the road surface. Ploughing operations should start when the snow has reached a depth which can be ploughed. Prior to this treatment action will consist of salt spread at 20g/sqm. On completion of the drivers' hours, fresh drivers should be brought in so that the operation may proceed without interruption.

    Treatment of Footways and Pedestrian Areas in Snow Conditions

    Treatment of snow on Priority F1 Footways will commence concurrently with the Carriageway Snow Route treatment. These routes will include areas of high pedestrian usage where risk to pedestrians from extreme weather is highest.

    Steps and ramps to underpasses and footbridges together with any 'low level' footpaths associated with the underpasses and the footpaths on the footbridges. A list of all Priority F1 footway routes will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and will be identified on the Council website.

    Treatment and Times

    • Precautionary salt treatment 24 hours per day.
    • Treatment of snow 24 hours per day.

    Car Parks

    Falkirk Council owned and surfaced Car Parks are included in the Priority C1 carriageway gritting routes. These car parks will be treated under this priority in snow conditions only once the priority carriageway snow routes are at an acceptable level and the Duty Manager considers it appropriate.


    Grit Bins

    Grit Bins will be provided

    • on Non- Priority 1 routes to accommodate normal icing conditions where there are difficult bends, inclines, junctions and turning areas which are particularly prone to icing.
    • where they have been in place for a number of years (historic reasons).
    • a special need has been recognised, eg:
      • adapted housing
      • school crossing patrols
      • sheltered housing complexes
      • steps
      • underpasses

    Providing that:

    • local residents agree on a suitable location within the road boundary
    • there is confidence that the grit bin will be properly used

    Roads Services currently supply in excess of 1200 grit bins for salt/grit storage for use on the adopted public road and footway network. The large number of bins reflects the Council's desire to encourage self-help at locations where minor roads and lesser important routes have a lower priority response for mechanical treatment.

    A mixture of salt and grit is provided solely for use on the adopted public road network and not on private areas, for example driveways etc. Salt required for private areas can be purchased from DIY stores and Builders Merchants.

    Grit bins will not be provided on un-adopted roads, whether privately maintained or prospectively adoptable. Housing Developers are required as a condition of their Construction Consent to meet these requirements.

    Community Grit Bins

    There are several communities in the Falkirk Council area where gradient and geometric difficulty is not a factor. At such locations (e.g. Grangemouth) it is preferred to locate Community grit bins at strategic locations, agreed with Community or Resident’s groups. A Community grit bin may be provided for each area approximating up to 8 community grit bins per 1 sq. kilometre.

    Removal of Grit Bins

    Grit bins will be removed from their given location:

    • where there is proof of misuse of the salt
    • where residents cannot agree a location or need
    • where bins suffer continued vandalism (minimum 2 separate occasions). A letter will be issued to residents after the first occasion
    • where there are concerns, over the summer months, that the grit bin has an adverse effect on local amenity the grit bin may be temporarily removed at the discretion of the Roads and Grounds Manager

    No grit bins will be removed during periods of severe weather without extensive consultation with the residents concerned.

    The provision of a new grit bin (or relocation of an existing grit bin) should be agreed through consultation with or between residents prior to installation, particularly those directly affected. If a suitable location, which addresses the geometric requirements, cannot be agreed then a grit bin may not be provided.

    Servicing of Grit Bins

    Grit bins will be placed where they can be easily refilled from a lorry parked alongside.

    Grit bins will be refilled as soon as possible after a period of heavy use. Given the large number of bins, there is a considerable resource implication to replenish salt/grit and this task will only be undertaken when carriageway and footway treatments have been scaled down sufficiently to release labour and plant for grit bin duties. Priority will be given to the higher altitude locations.

    A specific email address, grit.bins@falkirk.gov.uk has been set up for members of the public to use to advise when bins require to be replenished with salt/grit out with the normal servicing.

    A list of all grit bin locations will be held within the Winter Service Schedule and grit bins will be identified on the Council website

    Grit Bags

    In times of extreme weather it is not always possible to service grit bins due to their location.

    Grit bags may will be supplied to locations which have already been identified for easy access and use by members of the public.


    Communications

    Service requests will be handled by Falkirk Council's Contact Centre both during and outside working hours. These requests will be passed to the Area Maintenance Team to prioritise and deal with accordingly.

    Public contact with Operational staff, the Duty Team and the overnight Duty Officer will not normally be available, thus enabling staff to deal with service delivery issues.

    Requests for urgent assistance by the emergency services will receive considered priority action but such requests must be made through their control centre. In other cases such as funerals any requests must be made by the appropriate authority such as the Funeral Director. Requests of this type will be passed to the Duty Team or overnight Duty Officer to action and co-ordinate as required.

    In extreme conditions, a daily information bulletin will be provided by 4pm each day for use by Members and inclusion on the Council website. This should be passed to the Roads Manager who will authorise the information prior to it being forwarded to the Head of Service (Roads and Design) / Director of Development Services. This bulletin will include the following information:

    • Weather summary for previous 24hrs
    • Weather forecast summary for the following 24hrs
    • Details of areas and works completed during the previous 24hrs.
    • Details of proposed actions for the following 24hrs.
    • Any road closures
    • Salt resilience

    Level of Service

    The decision to initiate winter operations will normally be made by the Duty Manager, based upon the Weather Forecast received from the forecast provider. These forecasts will be provided every day between 12pm and 2pm (including week-ends and public holidays). In addition, out with normal working hours, the forecast provider will contact the Duty Officer if there is any major change in the projected weather conditions.

    Out-of-hours Winter Operations may also be initiated by the Duty Officer on confirmed reports of adverse weather conditions.

    As the decision to initiate planned winter operations will be based on the forecast provider's forecast, it is proposed, where possible, to treat Priority 1 routes outwith the hours of peak traffic flows. Where possible, it is intended that the treatment of these routes will be completed prior to the start of the morning peak (07:30hrs). Where the forecast indicates adverse conditions in the evening, reasonable effort will be made to treat out with the evening peak; however, this will depend on forecast conditions and will not always be possible.


    Level Plant, Vehicles and Materials

    Vehicle Tracking

    Roads Services makes use of the latest electronic vehicle location systems together with automatic recording of salt spreading. This helps to improve the accuracy of records as well as providing collaboration of service delivery in cases where failure to treat is alleged.

    Salt Management

    Salt will not be given or sold to any company or organisation, unless under specific instruction of the Roads and Grounds Manager. Organisations wishing to acquire or procure salt should be directed to the appropriate local merchants.

    Roads Services stores its salt in the salt dome at Grangemouth which is capable of holding 8000 tonnes. A minimum stock of 2600 tonnes will be available at the start of the winter period for use solely on the public road network.

    Falkirk Council Roads Services obtains salt supplies for de-icing through a contract with Compass Minerals as the main supplier. Regular contact is maintained between the supplier and the authority to ensure that the supply is treated as a service rather than a simple commodity purchase. Salt will be restocked throughout the winter season.

    In periods of extreme or prolonged conditions it may be necessary to obtain supplies from out-with the existing contract and Roads and Grounds Services will use this option as required and in collaboration with the other local service partners.


    Training and Development

    Roads Services ensures that all personnel involved in the Winter Service Plan, are trained or experienced to demonstrate competence in delivery of their duties. An annual evaluation and review of training requirements will be undertaken to ensure that all staff have the appropriate vocational and health and safety training / qualifications.

    Any identified training will be completed prior to the start of the winter season.

    Falkirk Council may carry out periodic exercises to test plans for responding to severe weather events.