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BEAR Scotland preparing for Storm Caroline06 Dec 2017

BEAR Scotland preparing for Storm Caroline

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BEAR Scotland preparing for Storm Caroline06 Dec 2017


Amber weather warning issued for high winds on Thursday


Yellow weather warnings in place for snow and ice from Friday to Saturday evening


BEAR Scotland’s resources are prepared to assist in dealing with the “Storm Caroline” conditions with winds of up to 90mph forecast at exposed locations mainly across the north of Scotland.  

An amber ‘be prepared’ weather warning has been issued for high winds across the Grampian and Highlands and Eilean Siar areas by the Met Office valid from 6am on Thursday morning until midnight.   

In addition to Thursday’s amber wind warning, a yellow warning will follow from midnight for snow and ice until 6pm on Saturday.

Resources across the North West and North East units are on standby including over 100 operatives equipped to deal with issues on the trunk roads brought by the high winds, with four gully tankers as well as sandbags and water pumps available to deal with any flooding issues.  Teams will work around the clock to maintain the routes and conditions across the network will be monitored 24/7 by BEAR’s control room. 

As Storm Caroline will bring colder temperatures, BEAR’s winter teams will be responding by carrying out precautionary salt treatments across all trunk roads in the north east and north west of Scotland, followed by all routes being patrolled to clear any snow.  BEAR’s winter fleet includes 115 vehicles across 22 depots, and teams will be on high alert to respond to any wintry conditions affecting the network.  

BEAR Scotland is working closely with Police Scotland and Transport Scotland to respond to tomorrow’s high winds across the North West and North East, followed by the ice and snow that is forecast to continue until Saturday.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s Representative for the North West, said: “At present we are preparing for the forthcoming high winds and our teams are on standby to assist in whatever way possible to keep road users safe and moving.

“In addition to our normal emergency response specialist landscaping teams will be positioned across the north of Scotland tomorrow to deal with any trees or branches that may fall on to trunk roads.

“We’re also gearing up for the forthcoming drop in temperatures and forecast snow, with our fleet of gritters and other winter vehicles ready to tackle any adverse weather conditions.

“We would advise motorists to be alert and prepare in advance for the adverse weather by checking travel information via the Traffic Scotland website, twitter or mobile site as well as local radio before setting off, allowing extra time for journeys and making sure to drive to conditions.”

Transport Scotland’s online ‘trunk road gritter tracker’, launched last winter, provides live tracking of gritters on the trunk road network.  The tracker can be accessed through the Traffic Scotland website at  

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

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BEAR Scotland primed and ready to deal with winter conditions 21 Nov 2017


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BEAR Scotland primed and ready to deal with winter conditions 21 Nov 2017


57,000 tonnes of salt ready to treat trunk routes across north of Scotland

180 strong winter team ready to tackle winter conditions

Winter control room to monitor conditions 24/7

BEAR Scotland’s winter maintenance services are up and running and ready to tackle whatever winter weather affects over 2000km of trunk roads across the North East and North West of Scotland.

BEAR Scotland’s winter maintenance team works around the clock, analysing detailed weather forecasts to ensure treatments are carried out as necessary. It has 57,000 tonnes of salt in stock, a workforce of 180 drivers and a fleet of 94 winter vehicles dedicated to helping keep the trunk roads as clear as possible. 

Much of the service is related to precautionary treatments – spreading pre-wetted salt on routes that will experience low temperatures – in a bid to stop ice forming. The service also is made up of winter patrols which monitor routes with an ability to spot-treat any icy patches.


Transport Scotland’s online ‘trunk road gritter tracker’, launched last winter, 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 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: “We have 180 dedicated, trained and experienced employees ready to deal with winter across the trunk roads that we maintain. Our winter control room monitors road conditions on a 24/7 basis meaning we can act quickly to changing winter weather conditions from the challenges of low temperatures and snow to bad storms.

“As ever, we ask members of the public to ensure their vehicles are well maintained, that they pay close attention to local and national media and online information to help plan journeys during inclement weather and that they carry equipment to help themselves should conditions deteriorate.”

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£1M Tarbet to Crianlarich A82 improvement project making good progress16 Nov 2017


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£1M Tarbet to Crianlarich A82 improvement project making good progress16 Nov 2017

Safety barrier works progressing well

Resurfacing projects nearing completion and 50,000m of road markings installed

Works set to finish on programme on Tuesday 21 November as planned

Road closures in place for roadworker safety, 8am to 6pm, weekdays only


A major road improvement project worth over £1M on the A82 between Tarbet and Crianlarich is progressing well, with works on programme for completion on schedule.

Multiple worksites have seen over 100 roadworkers and engineers carrying out a variety of works packages to the 16 miles of road alongside Loch Lomond since last week.  

The project is being implemented during the day-time under a full road closure to ensure the safety of the workforce during replacement of a crash barrier on the edge of a steep bank above Loch Lomond, however additional road improvements projects are being completed at the same time to make full use of the opportunities provided by this essential closure.

Click here to view an interactive map of the project

Works include projects to increase road safety on this section of the A82, including resurfacing works, installation of new road signs and markers, drainage improvements and removal of unstable stone walls, overgrown vegetation and branches cut-back to improve visibility, replacement of road studs and re-lining along the whole length of the site. 

Teams have made good progress with replacing the heavily damaged crash barrier south of Inverarnan, which will see over 400m of new barrier installed following an HGV incident earlier this year. 

Works to carry out new road markings within the closure length have already seen more than 50,000 metres of new road line painted as well as refreshment of hazard warnings throughout, plus over 600 road studs installed so far.   Specialist high friction surfacing works have also begun north of Inveruglas to help improve vehicle grip on the road before the bends south of Pulpit Rock.  The resurfacing works through Inverarnan and south of Pulpit Rock are now complete with teams working on resurfacing the next sections at Home on the Loch and Stuckendroin this week.

Over 300m of dilapidated walls have been taken down so far with the stone reused on the slope faces and ditches formed to improve road drainage.  All road gullies have now been cleaned with works to clear culverts below the road ongoing this week.

Multiple teams have been clearing vegetation to remove undergrowth and open up the tree canopy which will reduce shade, improve visibility and airflow over damp road surfaces and reduce the risk of contact with high sided vehicles. 

Installation of chevron signs at bends is complete with over 400 barrier reflectors already installed. These measures will enhance driver awareness of the bends, particularly between Inverarnan and Tarbet.

Two squads are currently working on some of the structures within the closure with parapet and wall repairs carried out as well as bridge repainting works underway.

Stirling Council, Argyll & Bute Council and Forestry Commission Scotland are also undertaking projects this week on the A82 between Tarbet to Crianlarich to make full use of the road closure and traffic management arrangements in place.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “The project is making good progress on the A82, and despite the wet and cold weather conditions teams have managed to continue the works as scheduled over the past week. Already there is a noticeable improvement to this stretch of the route.    

“Everyone is working hard on the project and making full use of the road closure which is essential to allow the new crash barrier alongside Loch Lomond to be safely installed.  This has meant we’ve been able to carry out more road improvements than we would have usually been able to had the road been opened, including working with other agencies to really make sure everyone is making full use of the road closure in place.  

“Every effort is being made to minimise disruption during this project, including liaising with stakeholders throughout the work and making sure that all those with access through the sites are being escorted through safely. We do however remind those who have access to please follow the reduced speed limits in the works areas which are in place for everyone’s safety.

“We thank all road users for their continued patience during these works, and encourage them to continue to check Traffic Scotland for up to date road information and leave some extra time to complete their journeys.”

The A82 road improvements project is set to finish on Tuesday 21 November, with the road open from 6pm that evening.  

The road closures are in place each week day 8am to 6pm with access maintained for all residents, businesses, emergency services, scheduled public buses and school transport.  All other traffic is diverted via A83, A819 and A85.

Click here for an overview of the project

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

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We're hiring! Come along to our Information Session in Perth in October to find out more.21 Sep 2017

We're hiring! Come along to our Information Session in Perth in October to find out more.

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We're hiring! Come along to our Information Session in Perth in October to find out more.21 Sep 2017

Looking for a new challenge?


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 offi ces 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 Highways, Bridges, Road Safety and Traffic Engineers and Technicians across all levels.

A drop in information evening will take place in Perth at the Holiday Inn Express, Dunkeld Road, on Tuesday 3 October between 4pm and 8pm. This will be a chance to find out more about BEAR Scotland and the roles on offer.

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 opportunities and 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.


Drop in information: Holiday Inn Express, Tuesday 3 October between 4pm and 8pm.


Address: Holiday Inn Express, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ


downloadBEAR Scotland_Recruitment Drive 2017.pdf

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Two pedestrian crossings proposed for A96 in Elgin at Dr Gray’s Roundabout and South College Street14 Sep 2017

Two traffic signal controlled crossings are proposed to be installed in Elgin on the A96 at Dr. Gray’s Roundabout on West Road and at South College Street.

Here you will find information on how the crossings came about, their benefits and detailed plans.

The A96 is the trunk road maintained by BEAR Scotland Ltd on behalf of the Trunk Roads Authority, Transport Scotland. The local road network is maintained by Moray Council.


Why and how we have considered the crossings?

We received frequent communication over a number of years from various members of the public and local groups, staff at East End Primary School, the school crossing patroller at South College Street and Elgin Academy Parent Council to investigate the possibility of installing traffic signal controlled crossings in Elgin.

These individuals and groups were concerned about the day to day safety of school pupils and members of the public being able to cross the A96 in safety. The school crossing patroller at South College Street reported numerous incidents of ‘near misses’ with vehicles failing to stop for the crossing patrol.

We undertook an investigation looking at three locations including Dr. Gray’s Roundabout, South College Street and also near Northfield Roundabout. The investigation included the following:

Analysis of the accident history of the three locations.

Pedestrian and traffic surveys were undertaken to identify the numbers of pedestrians crossing the A96 and the volumes of traffic on the road.

Three locations were assessed for suitability of a crossing point over the A96. The investigation included an assessment of the existing pedestrian crossing infrastructure and the level of conflict experienced between pedestrians and vehicles.

The numbers of children, elderly and disabled road users was assessed as part of the pedestrian survey. Key locations such as hospitals, public buildings, commercial centres and schools and colleges were reviewed to identify generators of pedestrian movements.

The proximity of cycle and walking routes to the proposed crossings was identified. In particular, the potential for providing future cycle routes to the proposed crossing points was explored. 

The assessment procedure for providing traffic signal controlled crossings is defined in Local Transport Note 1/95 published by the Department for Transport. This guidance was followed when determining the suitability and appropriateness of potential crossing points. The assessment undertaken recommended installation of traffic signal controlled crossings at Dr. Gray’s roundabout and South College Street but not near Northfield Roundabout.

See below link at bottom of page for plans, maps and drawings of the proposed A96 Elgin Crossings.


Benefits of the crossings

High levels of potential conflict between pedestrians and vehicles were found, particularly at peak times. A traffic signal controlled crossing will increase the safety for pedestrians crossing the A96 at these locations.

Due to the closely located cycle routes situated on the northern side of Elgin there is a real opportunity to incorporate the signal controlled crossings into future cycle routes in the town.

The proposed crossings will be ready to upgrade to ‘Toucan’ style crossings which would enable cyclists to use them.

By improving the provision of crossing facilities on the A96 this will help to reduce community severance and encourage modal shift by making walking and cycling a more attractive option. This could have a potential health benefit and potentially reduce the levels of car usage in Elgin.


The crossings in the wider context of Elgin

There are three existing traffic signal controlled crossings within the main town centre area of Elgin. These are situated close to Tesco supermarket, near the town bus station and a further crossing at Lossie Wynd. Two segregated crossing points are provided by a pedestrian subway near St. Giles Shopping Centre and a pedestrian over-bridge on Alexandra Road.

The two new planned crossings are situated away from these existing facilities and therefore add to the towns facilities rather than duplicating them.

The new crossing points will be ‘on-demand’ and will therefore only be activated and a ‘red’ stop signal be shown to traffic when a user presses the call button. At all other times the signals will show as ‘green’ allowing traffic to flow freely. This will minimise any unnecessary delays to traffic.

At the location of the South College Street crossing, a school crossing patrol operates. The traffic signal controlled crossing will therefore formalise this crossing location and result in less disruption to traffic.

At Dr Gray’s Roundabout the pedestrian and cycle surveys showed that these crossing movements were highest between 3pm and 4pm. At South College Street the numbers of pedestrians and cyclist was highest during the period 8am to 9am; and, We recognise that there is likely to be additional delay to drivers on the A96 and this has been carefully considered against the safety benefits for pedestrians and cyclists. At the South College Street crossing there are very high numbers of school pupils and at the Dr’ Gray’s roundabout there are also high numbers of school pupils but also a large volume of adult users, many of which are travelling to and from the hospital.

See below link at bottom of page for plans, maps and drawings of the proposed A96 Elgin Crossings.


Next Steps - Construction

It is proposed that the two traffic signal controlled crossings will be installed in the autumn/winter period of 2017/2018.

Works will be undertaken during off-peak periods, i.e. 9.30am-3pm to minimise disruption to traffic and the travelling public. Some elements of the works may require weekend working with diversions put in place.

We’ve already hosted a public information exhibition in Elgin Town Hall to discuss the project with members of the community, and initial feedback about the proposals has been very positive.  

Letters will be distributed to those in the immediate vicinity of the works before construction starts, detailing how the crossings will be installed and when works will take place. Information will be provided on social media feeds including the BEAR Scotland website and Twitter.

To assess the safe operation of the crossings when constructed, a Road Safety Audit has also been undertaken for the proposed crossings. The Road Safety Audit reviews the proposed scheme design to ensure safe operation by all road user groups.

See below link at bottom of page for plans, maps and drawings of the proposed A96 Elgin Crossings.


How you can find out more

Follow us on Twitter @NETrunkRoads for latest updates regarding the scheme and any trunk road traffic issues.

If you have specific comments in relation to this scheme then please e-mail them to

BEAR Scotland are appointed by Transport Scotland to manage and maintain the North East Scotland Trunk Road Network.

downloadBEAR Scotland A96 Elgin Pedestrian Crossings - Location maps and plans.pdf

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New proposals for A828 road improvements following community feedback29 Aug 2017

New proposals for A828 road improvements following community feedback

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New proposals for A828 road improvements following community feedback29 Aug 2017

Road to remain open during £270,000 of road improvements for A828 in September


BEAR Scotland has revised a programme of improvements for the A828 following feedback from a public consultation into proposals.

The programme of work, worth over £270,000, will allow for four road improvement projects to be completed on the A828 totalling to just over a kilometre of the route, without closing the road.  The upgrades will target areas of the road in need of repair and will create a smoother and safer journey for motorists.

The new programme will be carried out from Monday 18 September over six days at different sections of the route.  The road will remain open throughout the improvements however a 10mph convoy system will remain in place for light vehicles only to ensure the safety of roadworkers as well as motorists.  HGV diversions via the A82 and A85 will be in place during the day, and further notification has been carried out with the Road Haulage Association and hauliers to inform them of the plans.  No working will take place at the weekends to further limit disruption.  

The six-day programme of work is a reduced version of a larger A828 improvement project which was consulted on earlier in August.  The public consultation, which involved a postal campaign to over 2,000 addresses, invited community feedback on proposals to carry out over £700,000 of improvements across 14 different schemes on the A828 trunk road.  The original plans required up to ten day-time closures of sections of the road in order to carry out the project safely and also due to the restrictions which apply to accessing surfacing materials from quarries at night-time. 

After reviewing all feedback from over 100 responses, a new reduced programme of improvements has been prepared which will see four of the original 14 projects carried out, with a further six projects to be phased throughout the remainder of the current financial year.  The four larger resurfacing schemes requiring road closures have been postponed and with the aim of reprogramming under multiple night-time road closures in the future.  In the meantime, these sites will receive further localised patch repairs in an effort to slow their deterioration over the coming winter period.

Commenting on the new programme of work for the A828, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “We wanted to gauge the feedback from the public on our original proposals for improving the A828, and we welcomed the large number of responses.

“These responses indicated that while the need for road maintenance and improvements in the area was understood, day-time road closures would not be an acceptable method of working, particularly during September.

“We listened to this feedback and have instead produced a scaled-back version of the programme to ensure that the A828 remains in a safe working condition.  There are four resurfacing schemes which we cannot carry out without closing the road for safety reasons, so we will instead look to re-programme these at a later date under night-time closures when agreement for the delivery of surfacing materials from quarries can be obtained. 

“We endeavour to keep traffic disruption to a minimum while keeping the road as safe as possible for motorists and our teams, and we thank all those who reached out to BEAR during the consultation for the project and will be contacting them to share our updated programme.”

The new programme will get underway from Monday 18 September.

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


Programme of work is scheduled to take place as follows:

Monday 18 September – Kentallen – 10mph convoy with HGV restriction, 8am to 7pm

Tuesday 19 September – Duror – 10mph convoy with HGV restriction, 8am to 7pm

Wednesday 20 September to Friday 22 September – Appin – 10mph convoy with HGV restriction, 8am to 7pm

Monday 25 Septmeber – Ledaig – 10mph convoy with HGV restriction, 8.30am to 7pm

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