City plans snow-go zones

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PARKING would be banned from "snow routes" under proposals to keep traffic moving in the Capital during bad weather.

&#149 A snow plough attempts to clear the road in Ratho during last months heavy snow fall

City council chiefs are investigating whether they can introduce the measures _ already used in parts of Canada - in order to stop roads getting blocked during heavy snowfall.

Bus routes would be likely to be targeted if the proposals are adopted.

Under the scheme, cars parked on the designated snow routes during bad weather could face being slapped with a fine or even being towed away. The measures are being considered after concern about parked cars and abandoned vehicles making it impossible for many buses to run their full service during the bad weather.

Drivers' groups have welcomed the "innovative" attempt to keep traffic moving - but warned that motorists would have to be properly informed about the scheme in advance.

&#149 Do you think introducing a "snow routes" system in the Capital is a good idea? Vote here

City transport leader Councillor Gordon Mackenzie said: "This suggestion was brought to me by the head of transport, Marshall Poulton, and it has been used in Canada, where various routes are identified as 'snow routes' and indeed emergency evacuation routes.We have already been looking at the issue of problems caused by parked cars and abandoned vehicles during snow."

It is thought that Edinburgh is the first UK authority to consider the introduction of designated snow routes through emergency traffic regulation orders.

Neil Greig, a spokesman for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "If there is a formal, well-advertised campaign on snow routes then that is fine because people will have time to act.

"But one concern is that often with temporary traffic orders it's just a case of a bit of paper on a lamppost.

"If you don't know the traffic order has come in at midnight then you'll be rightly aggrieved if your car is towed away, so getting information to drivers is critical."

He added that sufficient parking space would have to be provided nearby.

The proposals are to be considered by a new "winter review team", which will look at what can be done to make the city better prepared to cope with heavy snow.

Councillor Jeremy Balfour, leader of the Conservative group on the council, also wants the team to consider using emergency traffic regulation orders to create one-way routes to keep traffic moving.

He said: "It is particularly important where snow is very heavy. For example, the 44 bus to Balerno could not turn because of all the parked cars.

"If there was a one-way system it could have kept the buses moving."


WITH major issues on the agenda including next month's 1 billion budget and the way the city responds to severe weather, the high-power policy and strategy committee meeting had the potential to be a baptism of fire for new council chief executive Sue Bruce.

Instead it proved a low-key affair, lasting less than 90 minutes and viewed by only a few council officials.

The former Aberdeen City Council boss was only invited to speak twice and wasn't even given a formal introduction by the committee chair, council leader Jenny Dawe.

Her first opportunity to speak came when finance director Donald McGougan said that Mrs Bruce had been holding meetings with chief officers of the council to try to tackle a series of new financial pressures.

Mrs Bruce said: "My default position is to see how all these pressures can be absorbed.

"We are all aware we are in constrained financial times."