Transport minister Humza Yousaf has been out viewing the winter preparations being made to keep Scotland’s trunk roads moving over the coming months.
There is currently more salt available to treat the trunk roads, almost 580,000 tonnes, than was used across the whole of last year when just over 391,000 tonnes was required.
Mr Yousaf has been visiting a salt barn off the M77 to see the gritters for the area being loaded up and getting ready for treating the roads ahead of another night of freezing temperatures.
So far this winter, the mercury has dropped to minus 9°C in some parts of the Highlands. Gritters have been out over 3,900 times to treat roads across Scotland with over 1,900 patrols operational.
Mr Yousaf said: “We all know that the weather in the last few days has been wet and windy but in the background our team of gritters and drivers have been very busy dealing with more traditional winter weather too.
“We are keeping them supplied with the vital equipment they need to do their jobs. There are more gritters available that we’ve ever had before and there is more salt in stock than was required across the whole of last winter.
“Our teams work day and night to keep Scotland’s trunk roads moving so that we can all get to where we need to be and we can now follow their progress on the Trunk Road gritter tracker on the Traffic Scotland website.
“The tracker is one of the improvements that we have introduced to our service this winter and it is helping improve communications with drivers. I would urge them to make the most of all of the information that is available to them so that they are fully aware of the conditions before they set off on their journeys.”
He added: “Traffic Scotland pushes out real time travel information on a 24/7 basis through the website, radio and Twitter feed and all of the data from our network of weather stations is also available online so road users can check temperatures and wind speeds in their local areas.”