ANGUS MSPs Graeme Dey and Nigel Don visited Tayside Contracts’ gritting depot, by Forfar, on Monday when they discussed with management and local police how drivers can take sensible action to keep the road network open.
They met Inspector Grant Edwards of Tayside Police Traffic Section and the managing director of Tayside Contracts, Iain Waddell.
Inspector Edwards commented: “It is important that motorists take responsibility. There are certain precautions car users can take to ensure an uneventful winter such as making sure your vehicle is serviced, and your vehicle is topped up with the correct type of anti-freeze, top up windscreen washer bottles, keep all of your lights clean, check and replace wiper blades if necessary, and keep tyres correctly inflated.
“Whilst driving increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front - on wet or slippery roads it can take up to 10 times longer to stop. Drop your speed and allow more time to slow down, and stop by decelerating that bit earlier rather than rely on braking alone.”
He went on: “Drive with care even if you think the roads have been treated. Use dipped headlights so that you can see and be seen. If it is very foggy, that is with less than 100 metres visibility, then use fog lights, but switch them off whenever conditions improve otherwise they will cause undue dazzle, which is an offence.”
Mr Dey, MSP for Angus South, said: “Tayside Contracts are clearly well prepared for the coming winter and it was good to hear that the long standing relationship between those responsible for keeping Angus moving and the local farming community which sees farmers formally involved in helping keep more remote routes open is being developed.
“But it’s important that we as individuals do whatever we can to make their jobs easier.’’
Mr Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, commented: “We all want to go off to work on a winters morning expecting the roads to be cleared and gritted, and we miss the fact that it takes a small army of dedicated people to keep the roads clear.
“I urge my constituents to heed advice from the professionals to make sure our cars are in good working order, and this winter let’s keep Angus moving.”
Mr Waddell stated: “We have more than a 1,000 miles of roads and pavements to keep clear, and the authority has invested £2.5 million to treat these routes when the temperatures drop. This year we have added six new pieces of equipment to our fleet bringing the number of vehicles available to tackle the elements in Angus to 71, including gritters, snow cutters/blowers and footway tractors.
“In total, the council has 19,000 tonnes of salt stored in Forfar and Arbroath. But I urge car owners to be safe and think of the gritters and the access they require, park sensibly and if possible in a driveway to allow gritters access to your street.”