Council’s new gritters ready for a cold snap
With the first fall of snow forecast for the weekend Shetland Islands Council is ready for winter with a squad of new gritters ready to roll.
There are also significant stockpiles of road salt if it is needed for a prolonged cold spell in the coming months.
The council has this year purchased eight gritters to be deployed across the isles, replacing older vehicles in the fleet of 18 vehicles in total.
According to the SIC the newer machines will be more reliable and have less maintenance costs than some of the existing fleet.
Two new “Unibody” trucks have added versatility as they can be used for other purposes, such as transporting tar, when not fitted out for winter tasks such as snow clearance and gritting.
Around 5,000 tonnes of road salt is now also in stock at the Scord Quarry and other depots around Shetland, with another 5,000 tonnes on order.
That quantity of road salt would normally be enough to see Shetland through a severe winter if necessary.
Environment and transport committee chairman Michael Stout said: “Although we’ve had a few mild winters, the council’s road service is now well prepared to keep Shetland moving in a cold spell if it comes.
“I’d encourage homeowners, commuters and businesses in Shetland to plan ahead for the winter too. There are some simple steps that you can take to prepare for severe weather events such as heavy snow and icy conditions.”