Final preparations are being made by Aberdeenshire Council to ensure voters have a clear route as they head for the polls later this week.
With the General Election taking place on Thursday (December 12) the Roads, Landscape and Waste Service has been reviewing its winter service arrangements and preparing a contingency plan which can be implemented in the event of severe weather occurring in the days before or during polling day.
The service has been working closely with the council’s election team in the preparation of the plan which includes scenario planning for different levels of severe weather events, how that might impact on access to polling stations and what resources would be required in order to respond to severe weather.
At this time, no specific information has been issued by the Met Office suggesting particularly severe weather, with Wednesday forecast to be largely dry with some light snow on very high ground from noon on Thursday through to midnight.
However, forecasts will be reviewed daily over the next few days as we approach polling day.
The council’s Roads and Landscape Services Manager Derek Murray said
Should we be in a period of severe weather on the day of the election one of key tasks for the Roads, Landscape and Waste Service will be to ensure that the electorate can access all the polling stations on roads that are as safe as reasonably possible throughout polling day.
The service has placed additional resources on stand-by on December 11-12 to ensure that the maximum available staff, plant and equipment can respond where necessary.
The location of each polling station has been carefully considered and road and footway treatment routes in the vicinity have been adjusted to suit as necessary.
Car parks at or near polling stations will also be treated where possible and bagged salt has been provided to every polling station for use around access doors and paths.
The council’s list of farmers and contractors are also being contacted so that the council is in the best possible position to respond to severe weather.
Meanwhile, normal operating hours for the council’s gritting crews between 5.40am and 10pm may be extended to ensure polling stations can be accessed safely between 7am and 10pm and in order that ballot boxes can be safely delivered to the count in Aberdeen after the polls close.