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BEAR Scotland is ready for winter07 Dec 2018


Over 58,000 tonnes of salt ready to treat trunk routes across north of Scotland


195 strong winter team ready to tackle winter conditions


10th year that BEAR’s winter 24/7 control room central to winter response


BEAR Scotland has over 58,000 tonnes of salt in stock, a workforce of 195 drivers and a fleet of 120 winter vehicles dedicated to helping keep the trunk roads in the north of Scotland as clear as possible this winter. 

It is ready to tackle whatever winter weather conditions affect the 2,036km of trunk roads it is responsible for across the North East and North West of Scotland, which also includes a section of the M80 between Junction 2 Stepps and Junction 7 Haggs and a short section of the M73 between Junction 3 Mollinsburn and its junction with the M80.

During last year’s harsh winter BEAR Scotland used over 80,000 tonnes of de-icing materials across nearly 11,000 treatments.  

This year marks the 10th year that the 24/7 winter control room has been central to BEAR’s winter response programme - analysing detailed weather forecasts and road temperatures to ensure treatments are carried out as necessary. 

BEAR Scotland has 120 dedicated vehicles in its winter fleet involved in carrying out precautionary winter treatments, patrols and snow clearance. This includes 39 large 32-tonne eight wheeler spreaders - some of the largest in the UK.  

Much of the ensuing winter maintenance service is related to precautionary treatments being undertaken in a bid to stop ice forming which involve spreading pre-wetted salt on routes forecast to experience low temperatures. The service also incorporates winter patrols which monitor routes with an ability to spot-treat any icy patches.

Transport Scotland’s online ‘trunk road gritter tracker’ provides live tracking of gritters on the trunk road network.  It displays the current location of gritters and a trail with an age range for where gritters have previously passed along trunk routes across Scotland. 

BEAR’s fleet includes newly named gritter, ‘For Your Ice Only’ - joining favourites including ‘Mr Plow’, ‘Plougher O’Scotland’, ‘Sir Andy Flurry’ and ‘Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.’

BEAR is also on hand to deal with any issues on the trunk roads brought by storms that bring high winds and heavy rain. Gully tankers, sandbags and water pumps are available to deal with any flooding issues and chainsaw operatives are also on standby to attend any fallen trees or branches.

Iain Murray, BEAR Scotland’s Managing Director, said: “This year marks the tenth anniversary of our 24/7 winter control room which continues to be central to our winter response activities. It monitors road conditions and weather reports allowing us to both prepare ahead and respond quickly when winter conditions hit - from the challenges of low temperatures and snow to extreme storms. The team in the control room work in partnership with the operational team on the ground – comprising a total of 195 dedicated, trained and experienced employees ready to deal with winter across the trunk roads that we maintain. 

“While we remain as committed as ever to doing as much as possible to keep routes passable during inclement weather we are keen to remind members of the public to ensure their vehicles are well maintained and that they pay close attention to local and national media and online information to help plan journeys and be prepared should conditions deteriorate.”



Only travel when absolutely necessary 

Allow more time for your journey 

Listen to local and national radio for travel and weather information 

Slow down and leave increased distance between you and the vehicle in front. 

Be prepared when travelling. Keep the following in your vehicle:-

o Ice scraper 

o De-icer 

o Torch 

o Warm clothes including gloves and hats 

o Blanket 

o Shovel 

o Food & drink 

o High visibility jacket 

o First aid kit 



o Your tyres are at the correct pressures and have good tread. 

o Your vehicle lights are clean and working. 

o Your wiper blades are effective. 

o Your battery is in good condition and fully charged. 

o Your vehicle anti-freeze is the right concentration (Your garage can do this for you). 

o Your windows and mirrors are clear of ice or condensation. 


BEAR Scotland Named Gritters

Some local primary schools and competition winners helped come up with names for some of our winter fleet, you can track their whereabouts through the Transport Scotland Gritter Tracker here!

North West Unit:

The Ice Destroyer


Mr. Plow


Ready Spready Go

Gangsta Granny Gritter

North East Unit:


The Winter Explorer

Sir Grits-a-lot

Gritty Gritty Bang Bang

Sir Andy Flurry

The Snow Buster

Plougher O’Scotland

For Your Ice Only


Mrs McGritter


Polar BEAR Express


Further Information:

Drivers can get winter driving advice at: 

Traffic Scotland provides real time information on trunk road conditions.  You can visit their mobile site here:, or access information at or via twitter @TrafficScotland. 

The Transport Scotland trunk road gritter tracker details where spreaders have been in the past 24 hours.  This can be viewed at Traffic Scotland here:

Consider public transport options for your journey by visiting


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