Scotland goes Forth with electric gritter

07/11/2019

A fully electric gritter will join the fleet of vehicles aiming to keep Scotland’s trunk roads moving this winter.

Transport Scotland said the Electra 100% Electric Gritter : SEIV 19 – 350 is thought to be the first vehicle of its kind in the world and will be trialled on the Forth Bridges Unit, undertaking winter patrols on the two road crossings.

The transport body said it continues to build on lessons learned from previous winters and make improvements to its trunk road services.

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: ‘Our teams have worked hard throughout the year to ensure we are ready when difficult winter conditions set in. We can’t prevent the weather, but we can make sure we’re as well prepared as possible.

‘While last winter was relatively benign, particularly in comparison to the year before, we have still learned lessons from that period. Improvements have been put in place to ensure we are as well-prepared as we can be, and we are trialling some innovative new technology to see if we can make our fleet more environmentally friendly.’

Transport Scotland said improvements include:

  • Trials of innovative weather stations and sensors on the M8 to improve on-road testing capabilities.
  • Continued lease of specialist vehicles to deal with the most extreme conditions, such as the Hilltip Icestriker with V-plow and Unimog relief vehicle. •
  • Motorway Access Control units will be installed on the M80 to advise road users of restrictions and closures.
  • Live trials of pre-wetted salt treatments on the A835 using reduced salt and utilising a specialised combination spreader.

It added that as well as the fleet of emergency response vehicles, it has a ‘record high’ of 213 gritters located at over 40 depots across the country. Salt barns are full and currently hold almost 550,000 tonnes, which is more salt than was used during the whole of last winter.

Specialist route-specific snow plans have been produced, in conjunction with our road operators and Police Scotland, for the M8, M74, M77 and M80, following the significant snow events of recent years.

Cold Comfort Scotland, the seventh Annual Winter Maintenance Conference and Exhibition, takes place at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk on 23th April 2020.

Cold Comfort 2020, the 29th Annual Winter Maintenance Conference and Exhibition, takes place at the Harrogate Convention Centre on 13 and 14 May.

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