Although the weather forecast over the next few days is uncertain, the Council is asking residents to be prepared for winter weather.

In preparation, the Council has resources to deal with the snow, including: 600 staff, 20 mini-tractors, 23 other LGV Lorries, 100 other vehicles, 28 JCBs and 84 mechanical excavators and other equipment.

On Thursday night, there is the possibility that rain may turn into snow. Overnight there will be around 30 staff and 20 gritters working through the night and additional staff out from early morning keeping the main priority routes clear.

During severe weather conditions the Council will always concentrate on treating priority routes (Category 1 roads). And this year, additional mini-tractors are being used to clear pavements in the city centre and to try and keep the main shopping areas as clear as possible.

At the moment, the Council has 3,000 tonnes of salt in stock and around 5,000 on order.

So far this winter, almost 7,500 tonnes of salt has been used; well up on the 10,300 tonnes used last year over the whole winter period.

Councillor Robert Aldridge said: “Many residents, supported by Council staff and contractors, have made exceptional efforts to deal with the snow. We are not pretending that everything is completely back to normal but can assure residents that we are well prepared to deal with the further bad weather that is forecast and the problems that this will bring. We would encourage all residents to play their part and follow the advice in the Edinburgh Snow Code.”

The Council is prepared for dealing with snow and is asking locals to follow the Edinburgh Snow Code as well as our Twitter pages @edintravel and @Edinburgh_CC

Further severe weather updates

Refuse

Refuse workers are still out in force clearing the backlog, the service hopes to be up-to-date by Sunday. Refuse teams will be out working through the weekend. Bin skips are up and running across the city for residents to take their rubbish too.  More information here

Abandoned cars

If there is more snow the Council is urging drivers to drive and park appropriately and avoid leaving their vehicle in an area where it could present a risk to other motorists and to avoid bus routes. Due to the bad weather last week, Police uplifted 100 cars which had been abandoned.

Potholes

All neighbourhood areas now have a squad targeting the worst potholes. Repairs will be done on a priority basis.

Bus routes

Bus routes have been targeted for gritting in the severe weather and this will be the same position if more bad weather hits Edinburgh.

Students

The Council is aware that there are a number of students travelling home for Christmas at the end of the week. They would urge these young people to check transport arrangements for trains/planes/roads and prepare for the bad weather.

As well as this The Scottish Government is keenly aware of its own shortcomings last week when the snow resulted in travel chaos. Additional measures to improve communication and keep Scotland moving in severe weather were outlined today by new Transport Minister Keith Brown.

The six-point plan was announced as it was revealed that a special multi-agency group will be established in the event of severe weather which will include representatives for Scotland’s eight Police forces, the trunk road Operating Companies, Transport Scotland and ScotRail.

The group will operate from Traffic Scotland’s Traffic Control Centre in Glasgow.

Mr Brown said:-“In light of last Monday’s extraordinary and exceptional weather event,a key lesson was the need to boost communications – both among all the vital agencies involved, and crucially with members of the public. Therefore, within the Resilience Committee we have established how the different agencies involved can work together better so that we minimise disruption to keep our transport networks moving.

“We have taken immediate action in consultation with operational partners to improve communications – both between the different organisations involved and crucially with the public. And the setting up of this multi-agency approach, including the police and bodies involved with both road and rail, helps us to speed up the flow of coordinated information to the travelling public.

“Forecasts for later this week predict more wintry weather, and we want to take every possible step to ensure that we keep Scotland on the move.”

Measures include:

* Storing additional salt and grit at key locations on the national trunk road network for quicker access
* Using traffic management resources to enable diversions where necessary
* Further improving the Operating Companies resources by adapting vehicles, such as landscaping vehicles, for clearing snow
* Using the option of removing trunk road and motorway central barriers to allow easy access to blocked or broken down vehicles
* Working with the Police to consider how we can stack HGVs if conditions deteriorate in order to keep traffic moving
* Providing central Scotland’s Trunk Road Incident Support Service (TRISS) emergency response vehicles with welfare kits of blankets and supplies

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