A state-of-the-art fully electric gritter will be trialled by the Forth Bridges Unit, carrying out winter patrols on the two crossings this winter.
The Electra 100% Electric Gritter, thought to be the first vehicle of its kind in the world, will be seen on the Queensferry Crossing and the Forth Road Bridge, supporting Transport Scotland’s fleet of emergency response vehicles.
Specialist route-specific snow plans have been produced, in conjunction with road operators and Police Scotland, for the M8, M74, M77 and M80, following significant snow events of recent years.
Salt barns are full and currently hold almost 550,000 tonnes, which is more salt than was used during the whole of last winter.
And Transport Scotland’s gritter tracker is once again up and running, letting people see live movement of gritters on the trunk road network and a trail with an age range for where gritters have previously passed along trunk routes.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “Our teams have worked hard throughout the year to ensure we are ready when difficult winter conditions set in.
“We can’t prevent the weather, but we can make sure we’re as well prepared as possible.
“While last winter was relatively benign, particularly in comparison to the year before, we have still learned lessons from that period.
“Improvements have been put in place to ensure we are as well-prepared as we can be, and we are trialling some innovative new technology to see if we can make our fleet more environmentally friendly.”
Other measures include trials of weather stations and sensors on the M8, the continued lease of specialist vehicles to deal with extreme conditions, Motorway Access Control units on the M80 to advise road users of restrictions and closures, and live trials of pre-wetted salt treatments on the A835 using reduced salt and a specialised combination spreader.
Representatives from Police Scotland and the Met Office will be based at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry during the winter period.