Stirling Council is calling on residents to stay safe and well this winter by being prepared before any severe weather strikes.

This winter could prove particularly testing, with the potential for heavy snow or freezing temperatures combined with the ongoing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In these uncertain times it is important that communities across Stirling are prepared, whether that be at home, when travelling or within the workplace.

For its part, the Council is ready to respond to dropping temperatures with a flexible, resilient winter service to keep its traffic and pedestrians safe and moving.

Gritters crews working around the clock

The Council’s winter maintenance service is now up and running, with 7,000 tonnes of salt in stock to help respond to severe weather.

This will be used to treat the priority areas of Stirling’s road network during freezing temperatures or heavy snow, with the remainder of the roads being treated as the weather conditions and capacity dictate.Gritter crews will be ready around the clock as part of the responsive service, which runs until 16th April, while Council teams will also be out in force in mini-tractors to treat the footpath network.Check for your nearest grit bin

The Council also provides local residents with salt bins at various locations of identified difficulty throughout the Council area. These will be replenished during or following spells of adverse weather conditions.

Residents can get ready for winter by checking the Council website, which offers plenty of information, including the Council’s Winter Service Policy and a list of FAQs.

They will also be able to identify where their nearest grit bin is located and see if their street is likely to receive regular gritting so they know what to expect.

Think ahead and be prepared

Convenor of the Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “This year we will all face greater challenges than just the potential of harsh winter weather. The Coronavirus pandemic has no doubt put great strains on communities and residents across Stirling, and the potential for difficult weather in the months ahead will only contribute further to that.

“That is why it is so important that individuals, families, businesses and communities think ahead and be prepared for winter and all kinds of severe weather.

“As a Council we are well placed to respond and do everything in our power to keep our roads and residents moving as much as possible during the winter months. We make sure that our gritters are ready, our salt stocks are high and our salt bins are topped up for community use.

“As well as the roads, we have plans in place for our footpath network that will allow us to prioritise which routes receive the appropriate treatment during adverse weather.”

Look out for your neighbours

Vice Convenor Danny Gibson said: “I want to encourage everyone to think about how they could be affected and put in place some simple plans that will help them be more prepared should we experience extreme or prolonged winter weather.

“We recognise the importance of keeping major roads and pavements as safe as possible. Our highly experienced teams use the latest weather forecast technology to monitor conditions and respond 24 hours a day throughout the winter period.

“That said, the Council covers more than 1,000 kilometres of road and we can’t treat it all at the same time so our officers will focus on getting our gritting team on the busiest roads first.

“We’ll also be posting information about disruptions to travel on our website and social media channels, so I would ask residents to follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“I would also ask that our residents be neighbourly by checking on older or vulnerable neighbours and helping less able neighbours to clear their paths, in line with government guidance.”

Trunk roads and motorways which run through the Council area are treated by both BEAR Scotland and AMEY.

Top Tips for Working Together This Winter

  •  If you are able, try to clear your own path and pavement in front of your home – or any other building you are responsible for - before the snow can become hard-packed ice, and be aware of where you pile it so it doesn’t block someone else’s property.
    It’s not just grit that can prevent ice forming – ordinary table salt, dishwasher salt, sand or ash will work too.
    Never use hot water to clear ice – the ice will melt at first but if it turns into black ice it can cause a bigger hazard.
    Don’t take unnecessary risks on the road – ice and snow makes it difficult to brake quickly. Further information on Winter Driving Tips can be found on The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Road Safety Factsheet.
  • Wear visible clothes with suitable shoes or boots if you’re walking.
    Check Stirling Council’s website and social media channels - @StirlingCouncil or - regularly for the latest news about any disruptions to service.
    Keep wheelie bins off the road so they’re out of the way of snow ploughs and, if possible, move your bin or recycling box as close as you can to a cleared road for collection – but only if you can do this safely.
    Please be aware that in poor conditions our bin and waste collection service will slow down – we will be aware of the homes that have been missed and will endeavour to collect them as soon as possible. Please be patient and only call our Contact Centre if your bin really has been missed out.
    Be neighbourly by checking on older or vulnerable neighbours and helping less able neighbours to clear their paths – if you are worried about someone’s welfare, please don’t hesitate to call the Contact Centre on 01786 404040.