Despite there being no indication of snowfall any time soon, council staff have been hitting the road in snowploughs across North Ayrshire.

The council undertook its annual dry run to test out clearing and gritting vehicles and allow staff to familiarise themselves with routes.

As well as the usual challenges winter brings, the council must prepare for any further difficulties which arise as a result of COVID restrictions.

Cllr Jim Montgomerie said: “This is an invaluable exercise which allows the team to make sure we are well positioned to deal with both ice and snowfall.

“We put in an enormous amount of effort to ensure that priority roads and footways are kept clear and safe during winter. I’m confident that we’re well prepared despite the additional challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic.”

From late October to mid-April, a fleet of 15 multi-purpose vehicles will be available around-the-clock to clear any affected roads.

Council staff will be on call over weekends and holidays between November and February to treat footpaths compromised by ice and frost. The council has also secured 7000 tonnes of road salt at its depot in Kilwinning in preparation for a drop in temperatures. A further 1400 tonnes is to be stored in Brodick.

Salt will be distributed throughout the area for residents to use on footpaths and driveways.

For more information and to locate your closest grit bin, visit