Festive travel advice
Preparations are underway across the trunk road network to help people travel safely and keep Scotland moving throughout the festive season.
Transport Scotland will be monitoring conditions from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry, and our operating companies have already started their winter treatment plans.
Whilst it has been a relatively mild start to the winter period, over 2900 treatments have already been carried out, with over 87,000 tonnes of salt being used. Almost 537,000 tonnes of salt is currently held in stock across Scotland.
More than two hundred gritters are located at 42 depots across the country and new specialist vehicles have been added to the winter fleet to ensure we can react quickly and effectively to challenging conditions.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
"We all know how changeable the weather can be at this time of year. Our winter teams are fully prepared and proactively monitor, treat and patrol roads ahead of and during severe weather, which is all the more important with people travelling home for Christmas.
"Our Multi-Agency Response Team is being stood up to closely monitor the trunk road network and feed out important travel information and our operating companies will be working throughout the festive period.
"Transport networks are always busy at this time of year, so my advice to festive travellers is to plan your route in advance, leave more time for your journey, follow Police Scotland travel advice and drive to the conditions.
"The Traffic Scotland mobile site - my.trafficscotland.org - has up-to-date information on the trunk roads and the Traffic Scotland twitter page is updated on regular basis. Rail, ferry and air operators also have their own websites with the latest travel information to allow passengers to plan their journeys and help them reach their celebrations in good time."
Inspector David Hynd, Police Liaison Officer for Transport Scotland, said:
"We hope everyone is able to safely get to where they need to be, to celebrate the festive season with friends and family. We ask all drivers to plan ahead for their journey, pay attention to weather forecasts and follow the travel advice and Police Warnings.
"Before setting off on your journey, check the route is open, and allow plenty of time in case of unexpected events. Make sure your motor vehicle is sufficiently fuelled, your mobile 'phone charged, and you have warm clothes and some food/water in case you are delayed or stranded due to an incident or severe conditions. If you need our assistance on the roads this winter to summon help or report an incident, please call 101, or in an emergency, 999.
"And, most importantly, no matter how tempted you may be, please remember that there is no safe limit for drinking and driving, so don't risk it. During the festive period, our patrol crews will be looking out for those thoughtless individuals driving under the influence of drink or drugs."
Mel Harrowsmith, Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office said:
"The weather in Scotland can present all sorts of challenges during winter - it's not just snow, and ice that can cause havoc on the roads, heavy rain, fog and high winds can present challenging driving conditions too.
"As always, we encourage people to check the latest weather forecast and to plan their journeys ahead, to help them arrive safely with family and friends during Christmas and throughout the year."