Winter Ready, Scotland Wide

3 November 2014

Winter Ready, Scotland Wide

Some of huge team that will help keep Scotland’s roads clear this Winter have been telling the Transport Minister and STV weather presenter Sean Batty about the massive efforts that they make to keep Scotland moving.

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The gritting operatives met Keith Brown and the well-known forecaster today at the Snow Factor in Braehead, where the wintry conditions allowed them to explain how they’ll be working round the clock to make sure people around Scotland can all get to school and work, whatever the weather. 

The Transport Scotland winter service has been enhanced again this year, with new Trunk Road Operating company contracts being in force across the whole of the country.

This means that roads and pavements will be treated even quicker than before by around 500 operatives with almost 200 gritters based at 44 depots across Scotland.

As always, The National Traffic Control Centre, in South Queensferry, will be monitoring conditions across the country and any response to major incidents will be co-ordinated from there, with partners such as Police Scotland and the Met Office working alongside representatives from transport networks.

Information on conditions will be given to the public as quickly as possible through the Traffic Scotland website, internet radio or twitter feed, where #winterinfo will be used to flag-up the most relevant weather related information.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said:

“We have been lucky in Scotland and the last two Winters have been relatively mild in comparison to the previous years.  However, it is important that we remain alert to the changes in conditions that Winter can bring and we are prepared to meet those challenges.

“This year, we are delivering further enhancements to our service and with all four of our Trunk Road Operating Companies on new contracts, roads and pavements will be treated more quickly than ever before when a warning of snow or ice is received.

“We have more salt in stock than we used across the whole of last year and our monitoring systems have been activated to give us all of the information we need on real time conditions on the trunk roads.

“Our teams will be out on a 24/7 basis, supporting our economy and helping people go about their daily lives with as little disruption as possible and if there is a major incident we have the systems in place to mitigate its effects to help us get back to normal as quickly as possible.

“It is essential for people to get the latest information about conditions as quickly as possible and the Traffic Scotland Twitter feed will be using the #winterinfo this year to help people easily find out what is happening on the roads.”

STV Weather presenter Sean Batty said:

“I know how unpredictable the Scottish weather can but I wasn’t aware of the massive efforts that go into keeping the road network running in Winter.

“I’ve been hearing today how gritting teams are out across the day and night, using the most effective treatments to make sure that the roads remain open for us whether it’s rain, hail or snow.

“The service they provide is often taken for granted but we should recognise that it makes a huge difference to us all, especially when the weather is at its worst.”

Keith McKune, Amey Account Manager for STRU SE, said: "Amey's winter service will operate 24/7, taking action at the earliest sign of inclement weather. Our service is staffed by 58 high-trained operatives and 35 Scottish Borders operatives, with additional capacity currently being recruited to ensure we always have cover in place. Our new, superbly-equipped gritters, snow ploughs and TRISS (Trunk Road Incident Support Service) vehicles are ready to keep Scotland's south east trunk roads clear and safe."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter campaign, delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross, provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org

For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14.

For Weather Alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the Alerts, go to http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/ 

Rail, ferries and air users should check with individual service operators’ websites.

For SEPA live flood warnings, information and advice go to www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call Floodline 0345 988 1188