Winter has already started to cause chaos on Scotland’s roads with reports of overturned cars and multiple vehicle pile-ups.
But Transport Scotland says it is doing everything it can to keep the country’s roads moving.
In addition to the 200 traditional gritters stationed at 42 depots across the country, a new recovery vehicle has been brought in to help mitigate the impacts of flooding. It will prove invaluable in clearing up incidents thanks to its custom-fitted remote controlled crane and specialist pump.
A new all-terrain 4×4 patrol vehicle is also being trialled this winter on the M80, which can reach incident scenes during difficult conditions more efficiently than traditional larger vehicles. It can also plough and grit if required.
Meanwhile, a new combination gritter is being used in the north-west on the A835 to provide more flexibility in the choice of road treatments.
BEAR Scotland has also announced it is primed and ready for winter, with 57,000 tonnes of salt on hand to treat more than 2,000km of trunk routes across the north of Scotland.
Iain Murray, BEAR Scotland’s managing director, said the company is prepared to deal with any road issues brought by storms that bring high winds and heavy rain.
He commented: “We have 180 dedicated, trained and experienced employees ready to deal with winter across the trunk roads that we maintain. Our winter control room monitors road conditions 24/7 meaning we can act quickly to changing winter weather conditions from the challenges of low temperatures and snow to bad storms.”
Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, adds: “Canny motorists can ensure their journey isn’t blighted by the winter by checking trafficscotland.org for any local incidents before they even get in their car.
“It’s also advisable to pack an emergency pack containing an ice scraper, de-icer, snow shovel, cat litter or a piece of carpet for grip in snow, warm clothes and boots/waterproof shoes, socks, matches, high-visibility vest, screen wash, non-perishable food/snacks, water and a flask of hot liquid.”