Gritters will be out on the city’s roads overnight for the first time this winter with temperatures predicted to plunge to below 0C.

The forecast is for low temperatures and potential sleet so Aberdeen City Council gritters will be out treating the primary routes – the main roads which cover almost half of the city’s network.

The vehicles are one of the features of how the council prepares for and deals with winter road conditions and the other parts include a stockpile of about 11,750 tonnes of salt, about 180 staff, and the facility for the public to track gritters on the council’s website.

In the council’s winter maintenance programme, a budget for winter and emergencies of £1.57m has been approved to ensure that traffic on the city’s main roads keeps moving. The programme also includes how priorities are outlined for gritting roads and pavements and planned operations are detailed.

Early morning and standby gritting operations will run through to March 13 which can be extended depending on road conditions and if forecasts are showing wintry weather.

Almost half (47%) of Aberdeen’s roads are gritted before 7.30am, with 590 miles of roads in the city - more than the distance from Aberdeen to London.

Weather forecasts are closely monitored throughout the day and night, and gritters and ploughs can be out 24/7. Residents will be able to track road gritters as they drive around the city at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “We’re gritting overnight due to the low temperatures and it looks like it might be the same for the next few days.

“Even in difficult winter conditions, our dedicated staff go above and beyond to help people while doing their best to grit roads and pavements. However we cannot be everywhere around the city at the same time.

“We want to keep roads open and residents safe and I’d encourage people to keep a close check on weather forecasts, plan their journeys, and adhere to police and travel advice.”

There are large community salt bins at 20 convenient locations around the city along with grit bins.

More information about gritting priorities and where the large community salt bins are located can be found at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter.