NORTH Ayrshire’s drivers are being urged to stay safe on the roads this winter as the colder weather begins to arrive.

The council’s Roads Team are currently on weather watch for snow and ice forecast from now until April 2018.

A squad of 37 drivers and 17 multi-purpose vehicles will be available 24/7 to keep the area’s priority routes in use.

North Ayrshire Council is responsible for the majority of roads in the area although trunk roads such as the A78, A737 and A738 are operated, maintained and gritted by Transerv Scotland.

Salt is stored at strategic points throughout the area for use by residents.

There are approximately 450 grit bins and 12 larger community bins from which residents can collect salt for personal use.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Our gritters have already been out and about to ensure our priority roads are kept clear and our round-theclock measures will ensure we are prepared for the worst of the winter weather.”

Search ‘Winter Gritting’ on the Council’s website for a whole host of information including updates on gritting decisions, where to find your nearest grit bin and advice on clearing snow and ice from public footways.

You can also follow North Ayrshire Council on Twitter for regular updates.

Road Safety Officer Colin Kay says there are a number of steps drivers can take to ensure they’re not caught out during colder spells. His top tips are: Ensure your vehicle is well prepared – have it fully serviced.

Get your your battery checked before winter starts and carry out your own regular checks on the brakes, tyres, lights and make sure fluids are kept topped up Plan your journeys in advance – check local/national weather forecasts.

Keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. Useful items include a mobile phone and car charger, shovel, wellington boots, gloves, de-icing equipment, torch, blankets and tow rope.