Councillor Tom Johnston brought up the local authority’s Winter Service plan for 2012-13 at a recent full council meeting.
He asked: “Why does the 2006-07 gritting plan show 14 out of the 23 residential streets in Kildrum and Park were primary gritting routes and the plan for 2012-13 shows only eight of these streets as gritting routes, with these eight reduced to secondary gritting?”
“This is an absolute scandal. In 2006 Kildrum and the Village had 20 streets marked for primary gritting. Now they have none. All we now have is 15 streets for secondary gritting. The council has learned nothing from the Village and Kildrum gridlock disasters of the winters of 2010 and 2011
“I challenged the new gritting plan at committee. Basically,they have no strategy to deal with the classic problems when severe snow emergencies hit Cumbernauld.”
Graham MacKay, head of road and transportation, said: “We have reviewed our winter gritting policy over recent years and it now provides a consistent standard of service across the whole of the council area. The statistics quoted about the level of snow clearing and gritting are inaccurate; currently 76 per cent of the road network in wards 1 to 5 are treated on a primary or secondary basis (46 per cent and 30 per cent respectively).
“The winter policy is used to guide our gritting actions but in the event of extreme weather, such as prolonged snow and ice, we allocate our resources to the locations where they are needed most. In recent winters when we, and the rest of Scotland, experienced very heavy snow falls, our priority was to keep primary routes clear and assist the public transport network to operate.
“During these difficult conditions, residents who parked on distributor roads around Cumbernauld caused additional and unnecessary problems for our vehicles trying to clear the main roads. In addition, they could have created a dangerous situation by preventing access for emergency services. Any vehicle which causes an obstruction in this way will be reported to the police.
“The council is well prepared for the winter, with more than 20,000 tonnes of salt available and we will be able to call on additional resources at short notice if extreme weather conditions require it. We will also provide regular updates to residents via our web site, Twitter and the local media.”