HUNDREDS of staff and vehicles are on red alert to keep Glasgow moving during the worst of the winter weather.

Gritting the city's roads will take place mainly at night to reduce traffic disruption but crews will also be about during the day when necessary.

Priority will be given to all main roads, roads around schools, access to police, fire and ambulance bases, park and ride car parks and steep hills.

City council roads bosses get a weather forecast at 7am every day for the day ahead and around midday get a detailed forecast for the next 36 hours and a summary forecast for the next two to 10 days with a final weather update around 7pm.

The de-icer used on roads and pavements is less harmful to the environment and 82% less corrosive than untreated rock salt so reduces damages to vehicles and roads.

Almost 1400 salt bins will be placed across the city at the start of winter to allow the public to grit outwith priority areas.

In prolonged severe weather, large one tonne temporary gritting sacks will be placed in communities to help people cope with the conditions.

Detailed information on gritting operations, location of gritting bins and self-help advice can be found at

Anna Richardson, the council's sustainability and carbon reduction spokeswoman, said: "Our aim throughout winter is making sure the citizens of Glasgow can get about safely with minimal disruption and keeping Glasgow open for business.

"We have the ability to use a range of different vehicles for gritting and snow clearing by fitting demountable blades and spreaders to everything from trucks, tractors and lawnmowers.

"So while there are vehicles people would probably recognise as a gritter or snow plough, we have almost 200 other vehicles designed to be adaptable for winter tasks."

Gritters have GPS and automated gritting to allow improved road monitoring and increased safety for road users.

Ms Richardson said: "Residents can be assured we always prioritise main roads and bus routes to ensure the city continues to move and that necessary journeys can be undertaken safely.

"We have staff on duty around the clock so action can be taken at the first sign of icy or snowy forecast conditions.

"However, there are things the public can do to keep themselves and their neighbours mobilised and locating your nearest grit bin in advance of any bad weather means we are all prepared.

"There is a wealth of information within the winter maintenance plan and on our website including live gritting updates and the locations of the 1400 grit bins across the city."

Last year gritting teams were out on 82 occasions and used a total of 6432 tonnes of de-icer compared to the 22,000 tonnes used during the severe winter weather of 2010/11.