MORE than 200 gritters will be available across Scotland to help keep the road network moving this winter.
Since last year, 57 new gritters have been brought in, meaning that 205 vehicles are now on stand by to spread salt and plough snow in the event of adverse weather.
Transport Scotland says that salt stocks are also in good supply, with more salt either purchased or on order than was used across the whole of last winter.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “We always have to be prepared for the worst weather. Extensive planning and efforts go into keeping Scotland’s transport network running across the winter and this year will be no exception.
“We are doing all we can to try to mitigate the impact of whatever the weather can throw at us with more new gritters on our trunk roads.
“These are state of the art vehicles that can spread even more salt. This represents a strengthened fleet, with greater capacity and high levels of equipment and grit in stock.”
The National Traffic Control Centre at South Queensferry will continue to act as a hub for operations, while information on weather and road conditions is available to the public on the Traffic Scotland website.
Meanwhile Police Scotland is urging drivers to make checks on their cars to reduce the risk of being involved in a breakdown or a collision due to vehicle defects such as weak batteries, faulty lighting, dirty windscreens and illegal tyres.
Superintendent Fraser Candlish said: “We all want to keep moving safely this winter, and a few simple precautions taken by drivers to prepare themselves and their vehicles for the winter ahead will reduce the risk of avoidable breakdowns or collisions that cause injuries and lengthy hold-ups on our roads.”