Nimble crash recovery truck added to winter roads fleet

Transport minister Humza Yousaf with the new vehicles. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Transport minister Humza Yousaf with the new vehicles. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A new all-terrain vehicle has been drafted in to help clear crashes quicker as part of the latest winter weather fleet unveiled by Transport Scotland today.

The 4x4 Mercedes Unimog will patrol the M80 after a jack-knifed lorry in February blocked the Glasgow-Stirling motorway for hours.

The Scottish Government agency said it is smaller and more agile than larger recovery vehicles, so can reach crashes faster.

It can also operate as a snowplough and gritter.

The 200-strong winter fleet shown off by transport minister Humza Yousaf today also includes another Unimog recovery vehicle to tackle flooding, which has a remote-controlled crane and specialist pump to clear water.

A new gritter will be used on Scotland’s coldest trunk road - the A835 between Inverness and Ullapool.

The vehicle, which has been trialled in Scandinavia, will be able to use different types of grit, including brine-based, after the road surface dipped to -8C last winter.

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Mr Yousaf, who visited the fleet at the Traffic Scotland national control centre in South Queensferry, said: “The last few winters have seen a variety of conditions, with storms and heavy rain as well as snow and ice, and this requires flexibility in our response.

“This year we are trialling more technology to improve services across the trunk roads.

“The new equipment will assist in our efforts to help keep the network moving in these variable conditions.”

He said the online gritter tracker service had been relaunched on the Traffic Scotland website.

BACKGROUND Finnish ice breakers unveiled as Scotland’s winter transport plans announced