Finnish ice breakers unveiled as Scotland’s winter transport plans announced
TWO Finnish-built ice breakers were unveiled today as Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland’s latest weapon against wintry weather.
The Raiko machines, costing £20,000 each, use rotating metal spikes to scrape hard-packed ice off roads.
Part of the eastern half of the M8 was shut for two days two winters ago because no such equipment was available.
The ice-breakers, the first in the UK, will be supplemented with 110,000 litres of liquid de-icer, which will be used for the first time on major routes across Scotland if temperatures dip below -10C, when salt becomes inactive.
This follows trials during the last severe winter, two years ago, when temperatures plunged as low as -17C.
Transport minister Keith Brown urged drivers to play their part. He said: “Additional gritters, greater use of state of the art technology and getting information to people ‘on the move’ are just a few of the ways we have strengthened winter treatments, decision making and communication with road users.
“However, for the system to work, what road users do to plan for their journey is just as important. Keeping a close eye on weather and travel information, as well as ensuring vehicles are suitably prepared prior to setting off, is crucial. If we all plan ahead, Scotland will be better prepared for winter.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West