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24/11/2021

Transport Scotland Officially Opens Country's Largest Salt Barn

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Transport Scotland has announced that the country's largest salt barn is now open for business as part of the huge operation that aims to keep Scotland's trunk road network moving during the winter months.

The new facility at the Transport Scotland depot in Polmadie can hold 17,500 tonnes of salt, and acts as a strategic asset to help treat the trunk roads in the south west of Scotland. The building also harvests rainwater for use in brine production and solar energy to offset the carbon footprint of our operations.

Improvements continue to be made to the wider winter service, building on lessons learned during previous years. The winter service fleet has been expanded and now features over 230 gritters operating from over 40 depots around the trunk road network, as well as incident response vehicles, and includes an enhanced patrol provision around parts of the network.

Transport Scotland have refined their route-specific snow plans for key routes, such as the M8, M74, M77 and M80, with the help of our Operating Companies and Police Scotland. They are also using specialist footway spreaders to improve accessibility around parts of the trunk road network.

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: "Our teams have once again worked hard throughout the year to learn lessons from last year and bring an improved winter service to our trunk road network. We now have Scotland's largest salt barn to call upon, which not only holds a huge amount of salt but also harvests rainwater for brine production.

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"The relationships between Transport Scotland and key partners, like Police Scotland and the Met Office, will continue to play a vital role, allowing us to respond quickly and effectively to winter weather events.

"I'd also urge motorists to play their part when the worst of the conditions move in. Make sure your vehicle is prepared and plan your journey before you set off. Traffic Scotland is a great source of information, with updates on the trunk road network on its mobile site – my.trafficscotland.org – as well its twitter page @trafficscotland and internet radio broadcasts. The ever-popular gritter tracker is also back again, allowing you to follow the named gritters providing treatments and patrols around the country. 

"While we can't stop the weather, we can all be prepared for when the worst of the winter conditions move in and help keep Scotland moving."

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, Deputy Head of Road Policing Division, said: "This time of year has the potential to cause some disruption to the road network as wintry conditions arrive and we work closely with agencies to support their efforts in keeping motorists moving on Scotland's roads during the winter.

"Before driving, ensure your vehicle is in good condition and plan ahead, including having an alternative route in case of closures or delays. Transport Scotland, the Met Office and SEPA websites and social media channels have valuable information about weather and road disruptions and we would encourage people to check these sites before setting off on their journey.

"If you do experience wintry conditions on the roads, please slow down and drive to the conditions."

Jon Dutton, Head of Transport at the Met Office, said: "We're looking forward to working again with Transport Scotland over the winter season and bringing our weather expertise to help prepare for the worst of the winter weather, and keep the trunk network moving. Winters in the UK usually includes a wide variety of weather and this winter looks to be no exception."

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