RESIDENTS in Stirling are being urged to stay safe this winter by being prepared before any severe weather hits.

Stirling Council made calls for people to prepare as winter weather could prove particularly testing, combined with the ongoing challenges caused by coronavirus.

The local authority says its winter maintenance service is up and running with 7,000 tonnes of salt in stock to help respond to severe weather.

This will be used to treat the priority areas of Stirling’s road network during freezing temperatures or heavy snow, with the remainder of the roads being treated as the weather conditions and capacity dictate.

Councillor Jim Thomson, convener of the Environment and Housing Committee, said: “This year we will all face greater challenges than just the potential of harsh winter weather.

“The coronavirus pandemic has no doubt put great strains on communities and residents across Stirling, and the potential for difficult weather in the months ahead will only contribute further to that.

“That is why it is so important that individuals, families, businesses and communities think ahead and be prepared for winter and all kinds of severe weather.

“As a council we are well placed to respond and do everything in our power to keep our roads and residents moving as much as possible during the winter months.

“We make sure that our gritters are ready, our salt stocks are high and our salt bins are topped up for community use.

“As well as the roads, we have plans in place for our footpath network that will allow us to prioritise which routes receive the appropriate treatment during adverse weather.”

Residents can get ready by checking out this council page

People are advised to take note of the nearest grit bin to their homes, see here

Cllr Danny Gibson, vice convener of the committee, added: “I want to encourage everyone to think about how they could be affected and put in place some simple plans that will help them be more prepared should we experience extreme or prolonged winter weather.

“We recognise the importance of keeping major roads and pavements as safe as possible. Our highly experienced teams use the latest weather forecast technology to monitor conditions and respond 24 hours a day throughout the winter period.

“That said, the council covers more than 1,000 kilometres of road and we can’t treat it all at the same time so our officers will focus on getting our gritting team on the busiest roads first.

“We’ll also be posting information about disruptions to travel on our website and social media channels, so I would ask residents to follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“I would also ask that our residents be neighbourly by checking on older or vulnerable neighbours and helping less able neighbours to clear their paths, in line with government guidance.”