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30 November 2010

Thousands of staff and vehicles mobilised to tackle winter

An army of winter staff and vehicles are continuing to work relentlessly with efforts to keep Scotland moving during this brace of cold weather.

With around 1800 vehicles and 3500 staff, local authorities and Transport Scotland's operating companies are working around the clock to keep roads as free from snow and ice as possible.

Those efforts are backed up by staff at Traffic Scotland and Traveline Scotland who are doing all they can to keep travellers informed.

Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson said: "The Herculean efforts by all those involved in winter service up and down the country is to be highly commended.

"We can assure the public that men and women are working are working round the clock in often very difficult circumstances. While this Government and its partners are doing all they can the public must play their part too by ensuring they keep up to date with all the available information and only making essential journeys if the current weather continues."

Journey planning information is available at Traffic Scotland and Traveline Scotland; I-phone users can download a free travel app that gives them access to all this information on the move.

Drivers should follow four key steps for safe winter driving
  • Check the weather forecast and road conditions,
  • Consider if you need to travel at all or can wait until weather improves
  • Consider alternative routes
  • Consider alternative modes of Transport
The Scottish Government has activated its Ready Winter section of the website which contains practical advice and simple steps for people including weather and travel advice.

BACKGROUND
  • Scotland currently holds a salt stock of around 360,000 tonnes - enough for two months supply at heavy use (6000 tonnes per day) or four months at last winter's average daily use rate
  • Scotland's winter fleet includes everything from snow ploughs, blowers and gritters for treating the roads, to pick-up trucks and even farmers with blades attached to tractors
  • Traffic Scotland has access to over 200 cameras, 114 of those available to users of the website
  • Information for winter service is drawn from over 150 weather stations
  • Over 10 million Traffic Scotland webpages were visited on Sunday 28 November alone - a month's worth of usage in just one day
  • Traveline Scotland and Transport Scotland's joint 24/7 service is the first of its kind in the UK
  • Every single member of Traveline Scotland customer contact centre staff, provided by Becogent, made it into work on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 November
  • Traveline Scotland received 30,000 calls on Monday 29 November, most of these in a short 2-3 hour period - normal call volumes are around 1300 per day
  • 1400 people downloaded the free Traveline Scotland I-phone app on Sunday 28 November alone
  • On the same date, 14,000 people 'tweeted' the Traffic Scotland service looking for travel information
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