Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Winter travel preparations hailed by Keith Brown

Transport Minister Keith Brown
Image caption Transport Minister Keith Brown tries a spray used for dissolving petrol spills

Preparations are under way to ensure drivers are kept moving on Scotland's roads this winter.

Almost 200 vehicles are available for spreading salt and ploughing trunk roads in the event of ice and snow, transport minister Keith Brown said.

Salt stocks have been maintained and supplies of specialist de-icers which work in even lower temperatures have been increased.

There are also additional frontline and patrol vehicles available.

A dedicated adviser from the Met Office has also been installed at the National Traffic Scotland control centre in South Queensferry, West Lothian, which opened earlier this year.

The public will be kept up to date with information on road conditions via the Traffic Scotland website and social media sites.

Weather warnings

Weather stations are now located across the country and mobile sensors are fitted to operational vehicles to feed back data on road temperatures and conditions.

They will be used by the road-operating companies to decide when routes need to be treated.

Speaking during a tour of the control centre, Mr Brown said: "Last winter, the Met Office issued 169 severe weather warnings for Scotland and that gives an indication of some of the challenges that we could face during the next few months.

"Our trunk roads play a vital part in our daily lives and that doesn't change with the seasons, so Transport Scotland and our road-operating companies do everything we can to keep the country moving, even during the most testing of conditions.

"Our new national control centre means that our response to major incidents like severe storms will be better co-ordinated under one roof with experts from all across the transport network working alongside each other."

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