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Winter Maintenance Plan


Fast Facts


·        BEAR Scotland is responsible for managing and maintaining 1359 km of trunk roads in North West Scotland.


·        Winter service is provided out of ten operational depots.


·        The winter service period runs from 1 October till 15 May, but can be extended beyond these dates should weather forecasts or actual conditions dictate.


·        Between 1 November and 31 March thirteen overnight patrol vehicles will cover the North West network. The patrol vehicles are capable of carrying out reactive salting and record real time information on road surface temperatures.


·        The main focus of the winter service is to carry out precautionary treatments to prevent ice forming.  In 2012/13 4921 precautionary treatments were carried out in the North West Unit.


·        We use detailed road weather forecasts provided by MeteoGroup UK.


·        Current road surface temperatures and road conditions are monitored through the Vaisala Road Weather Information System using 53 roadside weather stations located throughout the North West trunk road network.


·        Our winter control room monitors road conditions on a 24/7 basis.


·        We have over 100 operatives trained to deal with winter in the North West Unit.


·        BEAR Scotland has 66 vehicles involved in carrying out precautionary treatments, patrols and snow clearance in the North West Unit.


·        The dedicated spreaders used for precautionary treatments and patrols are equipped for pre-wetted salting. This is a process whereby brine is mixed with the dry salt immediately prior to spreading to help it stick to the road surface and start the melting process. Several spreaders are also further enhanced to allow Skye, Kessock and Dornie Bridges to be treated with liquids which prevent corrosion and are environmentally efficient.


·        Prior to 1 October, dry runs are carried out on all precautionary treatment routes and calibration checks on vehicles are undertaken to ensure plant is ready for operational readiness.


·        BEAR Scotland has four snow blowers based in the North West Unit. These all-wheel drive vehicles are capable of moving up to 400 tonnes of snow per hour.


·        BEAR Scotland also holds stocks of alternative de-icing materials that can be used in extremely low temperatures.


·        We have 32,000 tonnes of salt stored in the North West Unit ready for the start of the winter service period.


·        BEAR Scotland operates its winter maintenance service in close co-operation with the Police and Local Authorities. 


·        Regular updates are posted on BEAR Scotland’s website – or


·        Media enquiries should be directed to Grayling: Laura McKenzie, Kirsty Anderson or Martin Allen on 0131 226 2363 or 0845 296 0027




Brian Gordon

Managing Director

September 2013

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