North Ayrshire’s drivers are being urged to stay safe on the roads this winter as the colder weather begins to arrive.

The council’s roads team are now on weather watch for any snow and ice forecasted from now until April 2019.

A squad of 37 drivers and 17 multi-purpose vehicles will be available 24/7 to keep the area’s priority routes in use throughout winter.

North Ayrshire Council is responsible for the majority of roads in the area although trunk roads such as the A78, A737 and A738 are operated, maintained and gritted by Transerv Scotland.

Some 7,000 tonnes of road salt is stocked at the Council’s mainland storage depot in Kilwinning, with a further 1,600 tonne stockpile being kept at the depot at Brodick in Arran.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Our gritters have already been out and about on a practice drill to ensure they are in the best position possible to respond if and when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

“We have round-the-clock measures in place to keep our priority routes clear and keep North Ayrshire moving.”

Residents can search ‘Winter Gritting’ on the Council’s website for information including updates on gritting, where to find your nearest grit bin and advice on clearing snow and ice from public footways.

You can also follow North Ayrshire Council on twitter for regular updates.
To help drivers be prepared for the coming winter, North Ayrshire Council’s Road Safety Officer is encouraging motorists to stay safe on the roads.

Road Safety Officer, Colin Kay, says a few simple measures can help make life much easier for motorists as we await the worst of the winter weather. His top tips are:

* ensure your vehicle is well prepared – have it fully serviced. Get your battery checked before winter starts and carry out your own regular checks on the brakes, tyres, lights and make sure fluids are kept topped up

* plan your journeys in advance – check local/national weather forecasts and make sure the condition of your route is safe to travel on – and sign up to Met Office warnings

* Make sure all snow is cleared from your car before driving – don’t drive with snow on the vehicle roof or windows. Also, de-mist your car properly before setting off.

* keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. 

In the event you are stranded due to a snow storm or flood, handy items include a mobile phone and charger, shovel, wellington boots, gloves, de-icing equipment, torch, blankets and tow rope.
Colin said: “Driving in winter can be extremely dangerous given the extreme and often changing weather conditions such as snow, ice, rain, fog and long periods of darkness.

“We should all be well prepared for this hazardous weather – and be willing to adapt our driving style for each of them.
More information and guidance is available on the Ready Scotland website