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Bear Scotland Winter Teams Ready to Keep Scotland Moving20 Dec 2019



·         120 winter vehicles available across north of Scotland

·         195-strong team of winter drivers & 24/7 winter control room bolster winter efforts

·         Local primary schools involved in naming new fleet with winners announced in January



BEAR Scotland teams are gearing up for a busy festive season with 120 winter vehicles and 195 drivers on stand-by to help keep Scotland’s northern trunk roads moving this winter.

Teams are ready to tackle whatever winter conditions affect the 2,036km of trunk road BEAR 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.

BEAR Scotland also had a dedicated 24/7 winter control room which helps coordinate all of BEAR’s winter response programme, analysing detailed weather forecasts and road temperatures to ensure treatments are carried out as necessary.

Local primary schools including St Bride’s Primary School in Ballachulish, Anderson’s Primary School in Forres, Cairney Primary School near Huntly and Ruthvenfield Primary in Perth have also received special visits by BEAR’s gritters in December with school pupils invited to come up with a new name for the vehicles.  Winning names will be revealed in January with pupils able to spot the gritters on the Transport Scotland online ‘trunk road gritter tracker’, which provides live tracking of gritters across the network. 

Once named, the gritters will join the rest of BEAR Scotland’s fleet of quirky named winter vehicles which include, ‘For Your Ice Only’, ‘Sir Andy Flurry’ and ‘Gritty Gritty Bang Bang’, to name but a few.

With a fleet of 120 winter vehicles in total, including 39 large 32-tonne eight-wheeler spreaders which are amongst some of the largest in the UK, the gritters will be focused on carrying out precautionary winter treatments which aim to stop ice forming and involve spreading pre-wetted salt on routes forecast to experience low temperatures. BEAR’s winter patrol service also has the ability to spot-treat any icy patches and clear snow.

Iain Murray, BEAR Scotland’s Managing Director, said: “Our dedicated and experienced team  remain as committed as ever to doing as much as possible to keep Scotland’s key routes open and safe for motorists over the festive period and indeed the rest of the winter.

“Already teams have been busy so far this year with colder spells experienced earlier this month across our networks, and we’re ready to respond to whatever weather comes our way over the remaining winter season.

“As ever, we want everyone to have a safe Christmas and New Year, and we 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.”

BEAR is also on hand to deal with any issues on the trunk roads brought on 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.

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on, twitter at @trafficscotland or the new mobile site 


·         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

·         Check:

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.

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