Early Preparation For the Worst Winter Ahead
Earlier this month, Transport Minister, Keith Brown stated that Scotland’s road bosses are continuing to prepare ahead for the forthcoming winter. This is a relief after last year’s winter which was the worst to hit Scotland in decades.
According to the weather predictions, Britain is set for below average temperatures from December through to February. Heavy snow is expected to fall from November to January with Scotland to be the worst hit.
In preparation Brown inspected parts of Transport Scotland’s estimated £15 million winter service, which began on the 1st of October, during a visit to the depot earlier this month.
He emphasised how keeping Scotland mobile is vital to the Scottish economy and the last two harsh winters reinforced the importance of being prepared-which we evidently weren’t last year.
At Eagle Couriers we were nearly ground to a halt. The M8 was closed for two days causing huge problems for us. Our drivers covering remote areas had snow socks which fit over the vehicle’s tyres to grip on icy roads which helped, but reaching private housing and business estates was an absolute nightmare.
The UK’s motorways and arterial routes are the lifeblood of our industry and we need to ensure that they are protected.
Recent reports have stated that salt stocks are at 70% of the total levels used last year but no roads authority can guarantee to keep roads free from snow and ice.
It’s understandable that when severe weather hits there will be inevitable disruptions even with the best of plans but we hope that the operating companies really will be better prepared to get Scotland moving again after last years catastrophe.
The high percentage of salt stocks must surely be an improvement on last year and more salt stock available hopefully means that treatments can be applied to the minor roads with the same levels of concentration as with the major ones as it was these routes that caused the most problems for our staff and no doubt other drivers.
While Keith Brown is preparing road authorities, here at Eagle we’re doing our own preparations to get our staff ready for the winter ahead. Our drivers will be provided with emergency kits with tools designed to deal with the harsh weather conditions, including shovels, gloves, ice scrapers and torches.
Transport Scotland are enhancing its Traffic Scotland Service, providing the customer with more information to make informed travel decisions.
Road users are being invited to play their part too, by contributing information about any problems experienced in particular areas. This is something we want to get involved in to help all commuters during a period which is inevitably going to be difficult despite early preparation measures.
Scotland has a 2,000 mile motorway and trunk road network and when the snow and ice does eventually arrive we hope these areas will be treated with the upmost speed and efficiency as assured.