Farmers called upon to clear snow and ice from Scotland’s roads
MORE roads could be cleared of snow by Scotland’s 27,000 farmers if the country is hit by another big freeze this winter, thanks to a new agreement between the National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland and the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland - local authority roads chiefs.
The new national code of practice will make better use of farmers’ support, Transport Scotland said today.
It could lead to farmers, who currently clear snow and ice on minor roads in only some areas, to do the same across the country.
Transport minister Keith Brown said: “The farming sector provides an opportunity for councils to utilise farmers’ resources and their position within the local communities to enhance the provision of winter services, improving the resilience of the road network and the quality of life for the people they serve.
“This code of practice encourages a consistent approach to engaging farmers in winter service. It highlights best practice, as well as important compliance and risk issues that both parties need to be aware of and suggested minimum standards.”
National Farmers Union Scotland legal and technical committee chairman John Smith said: “Farmers and agricultural contractors have a vital role in keeping Scotland’s rural communities moving when winter hits. In the harshest of weather, farmers have proven themselves to be able and willing to play their part in assisting local authorities.”