BEAR Scotland News RSS Feed

New campaign launched to highlight abuse and dangerous driving and its impact on road workers in Scotland04 Jun 2018

New campaign launched to highlight abuse and dangerous driving and its impact on road workers in Scotland

Read more

New campaign launched to highlight abuse and dangerous driving and its impact on road workers in Scotland04 Jun 2018


More than 85% of road workers in north of Scotland have experienced dangerous driver behaviour when working on the trunk road network


Survey reveals instances of bottles, rubbish, foam bullets and bottles of urine thrown at workforce by passing road users.


Over 85% of trunk road workers across the north of Scotland had their lives put at risk by motorists’ dangerous driving behaviour or are subjected to verbal or physical abuse, a new survey has revealed. 

Trunk Road Operating Company BEAR Scotland, along with Scotland TranServ and AMEY in the south of Scotland, are launching a road worker safety campaign in conjunction with Transport Scotland to speak up for road workers in Scotland. 

The campaign has been created to highlight the unsafe, reckless and anti-social behaviour of some road users which is putting workers lives at risk, as well as the abuse that the teams experience from passing motorists – often on a daily basis.  

It comes on the back of a survey among employees into the levels of unsafe driver behaviour and abuse that teams have experienced in the past year.  BEAR Scotland, who manage and maintain trunk roads in the north of Scotland, carried out a survey of their own teams.

The BEAR Scotland survey includes reports of: 


Drivers ignoring red lights and temporary traffic signals at road works – A vast majority (86%) of those surveyed have experienced road users ignoring red lights.

Drivers entering coned-off works – Over 73% of respondents have experienced  motorists entering the works safe-zone area in the past year.

Verbal abuse from motorists – Three-quarters (75%) of employees have received verbal abuse from passing motorists in the past year.

Missiles thrown towards workforce – Nearly one out of three road workers experienced missiles being thrown towards them in the past year by passing motorists.   This included bottles of juice, coffee cups, eggs, foam bullets, food wrappers and banana skins – as well as reports of bottles of urine and even a dirty nappy being thrown.

Threats and intimidation – a number of instances were reported of threatening behaviour being made to road workers manning road closure points.


Scotland’s Trunk Road Operating Companies are calling on road users to be patient and respect the work force who are carrying out essential road maintenance.  Throughout the two-week campaign BEAR Scotland, as well as Amey and Transerv in the south of Scotland, will look to highlight some of the statistics and real-life accounts and experiences from their teams in partnership with Transport Scotland. 

Eddie Ross, on behalf of BEAR Scotland covering the North West of Scotland said: 

“We understand that no one likes being held up at roadworks and we try hard to minimise disruption as much as possible. However, the behaviour of a small minority of passing drivers is unacceptable.  Ironically, our team during the winter are, quite rightly, considered to be winter heroes for keeping roads safe during snow conditions. At other times, when they are trying to keep roads safe by repairing them, they are subjected to abuse.”

Andy Thompson, BEAR Scotland’s representative for the North East of Scotland said:

“We rely on our employees to keep our motorways and other trunk roads safe every day. From repairing potholes to cutting grass, replacing lighting to attending incidents.  There is no place for verbal or physical abuse, jumping red lights or speeding through roadworks past workers undertaking essential tasks.  Everyone is entitled to respect at work, no matter where their place of work is.”

Dale Barron, a Senior Operative (Chargehand) in the North East Unit, has been working on trunk roads every day for the past ten years.

“We frequently see people not paying attention and ignoring the advanced warning signs on approach to our sites.  The worst incident that has happened to me was last year on the A90 when I was in a stationary piece of machinery within the safe work zone.   A lorry entered the works area and shunted the side of my vehicle, breaking off the mirror and throwing it forwards, then – remarkably – kept on driving.  Thankfully no one was injured.  If one of the guys had been walking past the digger when the lorry came into the site, he would have been hit.   That sort of thing doesn’t leave you, it’s in the back of my mind every time I’m out on site.”

Calum Farquharson is a Graduate Engineer for BEAR Scotland, working in the North West Unit.  He described his experiences as part of the campaign.

“We get people shouting things, swearing at us, blasting their horns, hand gestures…you end up just getting used to it.   

“People jump red lights every single time I’m out on site. I’ve seen drivers accelerate to the lights when they see them switch to amber, speeding past a 30mph sign first, then past a 10mph sign, then straight through the red light.  So frequently you’ll get drivers entering the 10mph works area at over 50mph because they’re accelerating to try and catch up.  Once one of our operatives was moving a cone within the work zone and he had to throw himself onto the verge to miss a speeding driver who had jumped the light – all so the driver could avoid waiting five minutes.”

BEAR Scotland is calling on motorists to respect their workforce. 

Look out for the campaign hashtag on social media - #RoadworkerSafety – to help spread the word in June.


Back to news list

View Older Posts

Join our team - we're hiring!25 May 2018

Join Our Team

Read more

Join our team - we're hiring!25 May 2018

Looking for a new challenge working on Scotland's Premier Road Network?


Join our team.


BEAR Scotland manage, maintain and improve almost 2,000km of Scottish trunk road including over 3,000 bridges and structures through some of the most scenic, but challenging, parts of the country.

From our main offices in Perth, Inverness, Edinburgh, Fort William and Dundee, our team of over 500 employees deliver £80 Million of road maintenance and improvement work every year.

We currently have a range of exciting opportunities for Senior Engineers, Engineers and Technicians in our Road Maintenance, Road Improvements, Traffic Engineering and Road Safety teams.

We are responsible for the maintenance of a wide range of old and modern structures including the iconic Skye and Kessock Bridges and historic swing bridges on the Caledonian Canal - and our Bridges Teams are also recruiting a number of exciting positions including Senior Engineers, Engineers and Technicians. 

With a varied workload, guiding projects from inception through to completion these demanding roles will bring out the best in you. With attractive salaries, excellent career progression, professional qualification opportunities as well as the satisfaction of a job well done, you won’t look back.

If you are up for the challenge, you could be a part of it.

If you are interested in arranging an informal chat about these opportunities please send your CV to or complete an application form on our website.

downloadBEAR Scotland_Roads engineers 2018.pdf

Back to news list

View Older Posts

Major £1M improvement project announced for A90 Cowie Bridge in Stonehaven18 May 2018

Major £1M improvement project announced for A90 Cowie Bridge in Stonehaven

Read more

Major £1M improvement project announced for A90 Cowie Bridge in Stonehaven18 May 2018

Project set to get underway at the end of June

Work expected to take up to 12 weeks

A major road maintenance project for a bridge on the A90 near Stonehaven has been announced which will see over £1M in improvements carried out.

Work on the A90 at Cowie Bridge in Stonehaven is set to begin on Friday 22 June for around 12 weeks under a combination of traffic management arrangements to reduce disruption as much as possible.  The A90 is used by around 28,000 road users each day and the investment will help ensure the route continues to function safely for years to come.

The project will involve resurfacing a 500m section of the southbound carriageway directly after the bridge, followed by teams rewaterproofing the whole bridge deck, as well as carrying out concrete repairs and kerb upgrades before resurfacing both carriageways on the bridge deck.   Once work on the bridge deck is completed a final phase of upgrades to the parapets and safety barriers on Cowie Bridge will be carried out. This phase will be carried out under night time single lane closures to limit any impact to road users during the project.

The A90 Cowie Bridge deck and southbound carriageway has been prone to potholes and other road defects for a number of years with further deterioration following recent adverse weather conditions.  Although temporary repairs have been carried out to address the carriageway surface, the investment from Transport Scotland will allow teams to carry out a full permanent surfacing repair which will ensure the bridge continues to operate safely for years to come in conjunction with the opening of the new AWPR.  

To keep roadworkers as well as motorists safe during the upgrades and to complete the work in the shortest possible timescale, a contraflow system will be in operation for the Cowie Bridge  deck repairs.   This traffic management will be in place 24/7 for the first eight weeks of the project, with the programme switching to overnight working for the remaining four weeks while teams complete the parapet and safety barriers upgrades.  Works will start on the southbound carriageway.

Consultation is underway with Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, Transport Scotland, Community Councils and transport operators to inform them of the plans for the project in advance.

Discussions have also taken place with the AWPR project management team regarding the proposals to complete the Cowie Bridge improvements before the opening of the new AWPR route later this year.  

Commenting on the works, Andy Thompson, BEAR Scotland’s North East Representative said: “This project of road improvements, worth over £1M, will allow our teams to carry out full repairs to the bridge deck on the A90 at Cowie, as well as resurface a section of the road almost 500m long to the south of the bridge.  

“The road surface has been particularly damaged following the adverse weather conditions at the start of the year, and although our teams have completed temporary repairs, this project will allow us to permanently repair the road.  

 “We’ve planned these works to be carried out under a contraflow system to keep everyone safe during the project, and our teams will do all they can to carry out the work as quickly and safely as possible.  

“We’re liaising with all relevant stakeholders to keep them fully informed of the project, and we’ve also worked with the team behind the AWPR to ensure our works are completed before their project is completed, minimising the overall impact to road users.

“We encourage all road users to plan their journeys in advance by checking the Traffic Scotland website before they travel and allowing some extra time to reach their destination.”

Real time traffic information is available from Traffic Scotland on, on twitter @trafficscotland or on the new mobile website  

Back to news list

View Older Posts

New Bridge Complete on A83025 Apr 2018

New Bridge Complete on A830

Read more

New Bridge Complete on A83025 Apr 2018

Criche Bridge fully opened to traffic on the Road to the Isles 


The newly built Criche Bridge has opened to traffic along the scenic A830 following ten months of construction.  

The bridge is the sixth structure to be  replaced on the route in the past four years following a commitment from Transport Scotland to improve road safety.  

The new bridge, located approximately eight miles west of Glenfinnan, was constructed using stone from the old bridge incorporated into the new design to ensure the bridge was in keeping with its scenic surroundings. 

A disused masonry arch bridge, adjacent to the carriageway, was demolished as part of the works to allow for the wider new structure. The stone from the old bridge was also used to construct a new bat habitat for the bats displaced from the demolition, helping to ensure the project had minimal impact on the environment and surrounding wildlife.  

The newly built structure and approaches provides a wider carriageway and verges, improved alignment and stronger parapets. Its low maintenance design will help ensure the structure continues to function safely for years to come and help future-proof this vital arterial link.  

Criche Bridge follows on from works completed at Dearg Bridge in December 2014, Utha and Garbh Bridges at the end of 2015 and also Arieniskill and Ranochan Bridges in early 2017.

Commenting on the opening of Criche Bridge, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “We are pleased to fully open the newly built Criche Bridge, which marks the sixth A830 structure to be completed in our bridge replacement programme.

“As with the previous bridges, we’ve made sure to limit any impact to motorists as much as possible by constructing a temporary bridge to ensure access on the A830 was maintained at all times.

“We also recycled some of the stone from the old bridge into the new design to make sure it fits in with the surrounding area.

“We hope the local community will be pleased with the new bridge at Criche, and we thank them for their patience over the last ten months.”

Design is underway for the next bridge in the programme following the completion of Criche, with construction programmed to begin at Shlatach Rail Bridge in Glenfinnan towards the end of 2018.

Back to news list

View Older Posts

£1M Morar River Bridge Maintenance Project Complete20 Apr 2018


Read more

£1M Morar River Bridge Maintenance Project Complete20 Apr 2018


Bridge painting project on A830 finished this week after six months of construction


A major bridge maintenance project worth over £1M on the A830 Morar River Bridge was finished this week.

Essential maintenance works had been taking place since November on the bridge that carries the A830 over the Morar River, and the project is now complete. 

The works involved removing the bridge’s existing paint system, which was in poor condition, and applying a new specialist protective paint system to all the elements of the bridge’s structural steel frame, helping to prevent rust and deterioration to the bridge.  

Teams had been working from scaffolding suspended beneath the bridge deck throughout the project.  The final phase of work involved dismantling these temporary structures that have provided safe access throughout the project, with the last of the scaffolding removed this week.

Commenting on the project, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “We’re pleased that teams have completed the bridge maintenance project worth over £1M which began at the end of last year.

“The maintenance means that Morar River Bridge will be protected against the elements, meaning it’ll function safely for years to come.

“Teams have worked to remove the complex scaffolding which had been in use during the project, with the final section removed this week.

“We thank road users and local residents for their patience while we’ve worked to carry out this project on Morar River Bridge.”

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on or twitter @trafficscotland. 

Back to news list

View Older Posts

Gangsta Granny Gritter set to hit the roads in Inverness29 Mar 2018

Gangsta Granny Gritter set to hit the roads in Inverness

Read more

Gangsta Granny Gritter set to hit the roads in Inverness29 Mar 2018


- ‘Local hero’ Kyle Mackay, eight, inspired by Walliams’ book character in choice of name for BEAR Scotland gritter


- Kyle visits BEAR Scotland Inverness depot to see his newly-named gritter up close


Kyle Mackay, the eight-year-old who was praised recently by Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf for helping clear pavements of snow and ice in his home village of Kiltarlity, has unveiled a new name for one of BEAR Scotland’s winter vehicles on a visit to its Inverness depot today [Thursday 29 March].

Gangsta Granny Gritter was named by Kyle after a character from his favourite book, written by David Walliams. 

The gritter is one of BEAR Scotland’s 32-tonne, eight-wheeler vehicles – one of the largest in the UK. Kyle and members of the public will be able to track Gangsta Granny Gritter’s whereabouts via Traffic Scotland’s online Gritter Tracker as it helps clear trunk roads across Inverness and the North West of Scotland for years to come.

Kevin Campbell, BEAR Scotland Winter Manager for the North West of Scotland said: “We have been extremely impressed by Kyle’s initiative and determination to keep his home village safe during the recent bad weather. His community spirit is to his and his family’s credit. We were thrilled to offer him the opportunity to visit our depot and name one of our gritters.” 

Kyle’s mother, Allana Mackay, added: “Kyle was over the moon to have the chance to name one of BEAR Scotland’s winter gritters after his favourite character. We’re grateful to BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland for the opportunity to do so and I know Kyle can’t wait to see it out on the road!”

BEAR Scotland is responsible for managing and maintaining the trunk roads in the north of Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. Other named gritters in BEAR’s winter fleet include ‘Mr. Plow’, ‘Gritallica’ and ‘Ready, Spready, Go!’.


Back to news list

View Older Posts