CASH-STRAPPED council chiefs have revealed fewer roads will be gritted in the Borders as a priority this winter.

Scottish Borders Council, which is responsible for maintaining the 2,947 kilometres of road network in the region, unveiled its winter plan this week.

It revealed 37 per cent of the network in the region is now classed as primary salting routes, down six per cent from last winter.

However, the road salting service will be enhanced in some areas, such as the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys.

And the local authority, which currently has 18,500 tonnes of salt in stock, has bought 50 additional salt bins to cope with any problem areas.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure at Scottish Borders Council, said: "It is impossible to treat all roads at once so we have strengthened our approach to having a sensible order of priority to keep traffic moving.

"The re-assessment of the priority road network was not taken lightly, and we are confident that by focussing in the first instance on these well used roads the majority of motorists can travel safely during the colder weather.

"These main routes, generally 'A' and 'B' roads, carry significant traffic, need to be kept clear for emergency services or are, in some cases, school bus routes. Once we have treated the primary network, treatment will then progressively extend into the remaining road network." But he added: "The road salting service will be enhanced in some areas, notably Ettrick, Yarrow and Newcastleton as they will, for the first time, receive pre-treatment before the likely onset of frosty conditions." The council's primary salting grit routes can be viewed by logging on to the following website -