Transport minister asks for patience on snow-hit roads

Transport Minister Keith Brown was in a control centre for most of today

TRANSPORT Minister Keith Brown has asked drivers for patience on the roads as the first cold snap of winter hits Scotland.

Mr Brown praised motorists and commuters for showing common sense in treacherous conditions.

The Minister was in the Traffic Scotland Control Centre for most of the morning overseeing the response from road operating companies and the emergency services.

Roads in the Highlands, South Lanarkshire and Central Scotland were affected by snow.

Some schools around the country were closed.

But Mr Brown warned there was another difficult rush hour ahead, and more snow is due to fall tomorrow.

He said: “After a treacherous morning for many commuters across Scotland the weather is generally improving. That said conditions this evening and tomorrow morning are again likely to prove difficult due to more snow, wintery showers and freezing conditions, so staying alert and allowing extra time for journeys are absolutely key in order to help keep Scotland moving.

“The Multi Agency Response Team is fully operational and SGoRR is active and monitoring the situation. I have been in the Traffic Scotland Control Centre throughout the morning. A fleet of over 130 gritters and winter patrols were out throughout the night to treat trunk roads and we used 3000 tonnes of salt – many other patrols were out in force on local roads.

“However where disruption does occur, it’s important the public continue to play their part too.

“Plan your journey, listen to police advice and check available travel updates.

“No roads authority can guarantee to keep all roads entirely clear of ice and snow, but a great deal of work was done overnight and preparations continue apace. Local authorities have invested heavily in new plans for this winter, and of course they have more than ample salt stocks. In fact around 110 per cent of all the stock that was used last year for salt is currently in stock.

“We are trying to keep motorists up to speed with real time information through the Traffic Scotland web and radio sites and I would remind the public that wet and snow affected roads can shield the hidden danger of black ice. Gritters will be out in force but require the necessary space to deal with snow and drivers should make room for them.”