Scotland’s largest salt barn is open for business as part of the huge operation that aims to keep Scotland’s trunk road network moving during the winter months.
The new facility at Transport Scotland’s depot in Polmadie can hold 17,500 tonnes of salt, and acts as a strategic asset to help treat the trunk roads in the south west of Scotland. The building also harvests rainwater for use in brine production and solar energy to offset the carbon footprint of Transport Scotland operations.
Improvements continue to be made to the wider winter service, building on lessons learned during previous years. The winter service fleet has been expanded and now features over 230 gritters operating from over 40 depots around the trunk road network, as well as incident response vehicles, and includes an enhanced patrol provision around parts of the network.
Transport Scotland has refined its route-specific snow plans for key routes, such as the M8, M74, M77 and M80, with the help of its Operating Companies and Police Scotland. We are also using specialist footway spreaders to improve accessibility around parts of the trunk road network.
Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “Our teams have once again worked hard throughout the year to learn lessons from last year and bring an improved winter service to our trunk road network. We now have Scotland’s largest salt barn to call upon, which not only holds a huge amount of salt but also harvests rainwater for brine production.
“The relationships between Transport Scotland and key partners, like Police Scotland and the Met Office, will continue to play a vital role, allowing us to respond quickly and effectively to winter weather events.”
Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, Deputy Head of Road Policing Division, said: “This time of year has the potential to cause some disruption to the road network as wintry conditions arrive and we work closely with agencies to support their efforts in keeping motorists moving on Scotland’s roads during the winter.
“Before driving, ensure your vehicle is in good condition and plan ahead, including having an alternative route in case of closures or delays. Transport Scotland, the Met Office and SEPA websites and social media channels have valuable information about weather and road disruptions and we would encourage people to check these sites before setting off on their journey.
Jon Dutton, Head of Transport at the Met Office, said: “We’re looking forward to working again with Transport Scotland over the winter season and bringing our weather expertise to help prepare for the worst of the winter weather, and keep the trunk network moving. Winters in the UK usually includes a wide variety of weather and this winter looks to be no exception.”