06 January
Winter Ready 2020

Over 100 operatives have been involved in delivering Winter Services yesterday and today (Wednesday 6 January), which has allowed us to treat secondary routes as well, which means 70% of the roads have now been treated. 

With freezing rain and snow forecast for West Lothian tonight, we will need to return to treating the primary routes this afternoon then again overnight.

We understand it can be frustrating for those on residential routes that we have been unable to reach so far, but snow and icy conditions mean we need to return to the primary routes to ensure they remain safe.

We do not have the resources to treat all 1,000km and 1,400km of footpaths at once, so like every local authority in Scotland we have adopted a priority system to ensure key roads are accessible.

Footway treatments have taken place every day from 5am since Sunday 27 December. As with the carriageways, the primary footway routes have taken priority, although recent conditions have allowed some progress to be made into residential areas. The weather forecast means they will need to return to primary footways tomorrow morning. Please note that these small vehicles can only carry a limited supply of salt, so if you see a footway gritter driving without spreading it is likely that they are heading to reload. 

Operatives have been redeployed from other service areas from Tuesday 5 January to help refill grit bins and this will continue for the next few days and into weekend. 

West Lothian has more than 2,500 public grit bins which is believed to be the highest ratio of all councils in mainland Scotland factoring in the length of our network, and they were all checked and refilled prior to the start of the winter.

It is not possible to keep all grit bins full during periods of severe weather, and we would ask for your patience while our staff go about the significant challenge of refilling all 2,500 bins.

The recent severe weather over the Festive holiday period has led to a delay in bin collections for a number of areas in West Lothian.

Our dedicated crews have been working hard over the last few days and have already cleared much of the backlog. A total of 70 residential streets were gritted to allow bin lorries access. We aim to have all outstanding collections emptied by Sunday 10 January, barring disruptions caused by further severe weather.
Local residents should leave their bins out until they are emptied.

All the above operations are very challenging for our teams, and local residents are thanked for their patience and understanding at this time.

The forecast indicates that the cold conditions are set to continue for the remainder of this week. We will continue to adhere to the council's Winter Service Plan to ensure that the available resources are used as efficiently as possible.

Further information on how the council prioritises the Winter Service can be found on the council website using the link provided below:-

Winter Service in West Lothian (PDF) [641KB] (opens new window)

Gritting priorities and grit bin locations can be viewed using the following link:-

WL Winter maintenance map link (opens new window)