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Highland road crews hailed for efforts keeping vital routes open during snow drift challenges; Keeping access to Covid vaccinations vital, says leading councillor, as true grit praised

By Hector MacKenzie

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Councillor Matthew Reiss: 'Our crews have been working hard to try to ensure as many roads as possible are kept open'.
Councillor Matthew Reiss: 'Our crews have been working hard to try to ensure as many roads as possible are kept open'.

Highland Councillors have paid tribute to roads crews who have been working hard across the region trying to keep routes in the region open.

Following a weekend of high winds and drifting snow which caused the closure of some roads in the west, north and south-east of the region, the council’s strategic lead for police and fire, Cllr Matthew Reiss said: “I would like to pay my continued respect and thanks to all roads crews across the Highlands for their continuous efforts to keep the region moving as much as possible.

“While the over-riding Government message during lockdown continues to be ‘Stay At Home’ and do not travel unless for essential reasons – it’s vital that for people accessing vaccinations and for other essential purposes can do so safely. To enable this our crews have been working hard to try to ensure as many roads as possible are kept open.”

He added: “I would particularly like to thank our plough drivers in Caithness who this weekend did a great job outside Thurso with 50mph winds and heavy drifting snow when hundreds of people were travelling for their vaccinations at Thurso High School. The staff were working non-stop to keep the area clear.”

Councillor Trish Robertson, chair of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee said: “Thank you to all our winter maintenance crews across the Highlands who are battling against these extreme conditions in very difficult times. From the pavement tractor drivers in our urban areas and workers spreading grit by hand to the snowplough drivers across the region who have been battling against drifting conditions I thank you all for all your hard work. It is truly appreciated.”

The Highland Council has a policy for gritting its roads and gritting priority routes maps which can be viewed on the Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting

Anyone who wishes to support their local community can apply for a grit bin at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20005/roads_and_pavements/594/grit_bins

Related: Roads closed as drifting takes its toll

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