NORTH Ayrshire Council is ploughing ahead with its plans to keep local roads safe in the winter.

Dedicated road crews have been out across Largs and surrounding towns with their snowploughs before there is even a hint of a chill in the air.

The council this week undertook its annual ‘dry run’ to ensure its fleet of snow clearing and gritting vehicles are well prepared in advance of the winter weather.

The test run enables staff to familiarise themselves with gritting routes.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for sustainability, is pictured with the gritting workforce.

He said: “This is an invaluable exercise which allows the team to make sure they are well positioned to deal with both ice and snowfall."

A squad of 35 drivers and 15 multi-purpose vehicles will be available 24/7 to keep the area’s priority routes in use throughout winter.

Staff will also be on-call over weekends and public holidays from November to February to help treat main footways in the event of ice and frost.

Some 7,000 tonnes of road salt is currently stocked at the council’s mainland storage depot.

The weather stations on the A760 between Largs and Kilbirnie is fitted with cameras, which will assist winter controllers and supervisors in monitoring conditions.