LOCAL authority roads have pledged to keep gritters and snow ploughs in action despite a risk of going over budget by up to £2 million.
Highland Council has already spent its £5 million winter maintenance budget, earmarked to last until April, following recent cold snaps.
If the wintry conditions continue in the coming weeks, director of community services William Gilfillan has warned that another £2 million will be spent to keep the roads safe.
He said: evelopment and infrastructure (EDI) committee last Thursday, he said: “We have always been aware that if we were hit with a winter that wasn’t normal that we would be snookered in terms of the budget.
“This winter has been abnormal – it hasn’t been a bad winter but it has been long, coming early in November.
“Gritting has been long and sustained then when it thaws it’s washed away then it re-freezes and so on. Winter is not over and we will continue to spend.”
The cold winter is meanwhile being blamed for a spike in potholes across the Highlands. A senior council official points out the staff who treat potholes are also responsible for gritting, meaning filling the craters has taken a back seat.
Read more in Wednesday's Caithness Courier