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Winter Service Update - 8 January 2021

Forecasts predict a very cold period through to tomorrow morning with surface temperatures reaching as low as -10 in some areas. Widespread ice and frost will therefore continue.

08 January
Winter Ready 2020

Tomorrow morning will be dry, bright and cold but will begin to get cloudy in the afternoon. That should bring milder temperatures and there is a chance of sleet and some light rain.

Although it is not expected to be as cold as today and tomorrow morning, surface temperatures will remain below freezing so please take extreme care if out. The milder temperatures are expected to continue into Monday before turning very cold once again.

Treatment

Please be aware that the effectiveness of salt is limited when surfaces are as cold as they are today and tomorrow morning.

The primary carriageways were treated 3 times since last night and are being treated again at the moment and again throughout the night. Footpath gritting began at 5am this morning and is planned for 5am tomorrow. Our teams also treated secondary level one carriageways today with some further progress made on secondary level 2 carriageways.

We recognise the impact that winter weather has on everyone but the council only has limited staff and resources and to operate a 24-hour service means we are extremely stretched at times like this.

We appreciate there are always lots of comments & questions when it comes to winter weather so we've pulled together this FAQs, which we hope helps. We can't however answer individual questions via social media but our gritting routes are online so you can see what is a primary route and what is a secondary route in your local area. You can also keep an eye on our gritters as they tackle the conditions.

Are you refilling grit bins?

Our teams are refilling all public grit bins but we have over 2,500, and it takes time, however over the course of the weekend we expect to have in the region of 80 operatives working on this task. If you are using a grit bin, please only take what you need. If you see any commercial businesses taking grit, please let us know. We are aware of several incidents where grit bins have been emptied almost immediately.

When I drive behind a gritter, they aren't always spreading grit/salt. Why is that?

Each gritter has an allocated route to ensure the network is treated as efficiently as possible. A gritter may be tasked with spreading salt on a route in Livingston therefore doesn't start spreading until it reaches that location. Another reason is that a gritter may have used all its salt and is heading back to the depot for a refill.

If I see a gritter that is not moving, why is that?

Drivers need to have a break from driving - it's the law. If one of our gritters hasn't moved in a while, this could be the reason why. Alternatively the vehicle may have broken down and is awaiting recovery.

Why do gritter vehicles spend so much time in and around Bathgate?

Our depot is in Bathgate so all gritters need to set off from Bathgate, return to re-fuel, load up with more grit and change drivers. Therefore they are in and out of Bathgate, a lot.

Why aren't you gritting housing estates?

The council doesn't have the resources to treat all roads simultaneously therefore we need to prioritise. Housing estates are secondary level 2 routes treated on a reactive basis only during normal working hours. These routes will only be treated when the higher priority routes are deemed to be in a satisfactory condition.

What about railway station car parks and other private car parks?

The council don't treat private car parks.

Can I collect grit from any other location?

Due to the ongoing freezing conditions salt piles are being made available to residents on a self-help basis at the following strategic locations, from later today (Friday 8th January).

  • Xcite Centre, McGinley Way, Linlithgow
  • Xcite Centre, Church Street, Broxburn
  • Livingston North Train Station (South Car Park)
  • Livingston South Train Station Car Park
  • Xcite Centre, Craigswood, Livingston
  • West Calder Business Centre, Dickson Street
  • Blackburn Partnership Centre, Ash Grove
  • Xcite Centre, Jubilee Road, Whitburn
  • Xcite Centre, Torphichen Road, Bathgate
  • Xcite Centre, North Street, Armadale

Are missed bins being collected?

Thanks to heroic efforts by our hard-working Waste team, we are making good progress on clearing the backlog of bin collections caused by the Festive holidays and recent severe weather.

With extra resources in place to place over the weekend and weather conditions improving, we are on track to have all outstanding bins emptied by Sunday 10 January. Residents are thanked for their patience and understanding at this time.

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