Festive Travellers Warned To Plan Ahead
21 December 2018, 07:11
Festive travellers are being urged to plan ahead when setting out on the roads over the holidays.
The Transport Secretary said agencies were "fully prepared" to deal with severe weather on the trunk road network.
Motorists have been urged to check the forecast, leave extra time for journeys, follow travel advice and drive to the conditions.
Transport Scotland said around 537,000 tonnes of salt is currently held in stock across Scotland and more than 200 gritters at 42 depots across the country are ready to "react quickly and effectively to challenging conditions".
Mr Matheson said: "We all know how changeable the weather can be at this time of year.
"Our winter teams are fully prepared and proactively monitor, treat and patrol roads ahead of and during severe weather, which is all the more important with people travelling home for Christmas.
"Our Multi-Agency Response Team is being stood up to closely monitor the trunk road network and feed out important travel information and our operating companies will be working throughout the festive period.
"Transport networks are always busy at this time of year, so my advice to festive travellers is to plan your route in advance, leave more time for your journey, follow Police Scotland travel advice and drive to the conditions."
Inspector David Hynd, Police Liaison Officer for Transport Scotland, said: "We hope everyone is able to safely get to where they need to be, to celebrate the festive season with friends and family.
"We ask all drivers to plan ahead for their journey, pay attention to weather forecasts and follow the travel advice and police warnings."
He urged motorists to check their route is open before setting off, allow extra time, ensure the vehicle has sufficient fuel and that the mobile phones are charged.
He also advised taking warm clothes and food and water in case an incident or severe conditions lead to becoming delayed or stranded.
He added: "Most importantly, no matter how tempted you may be, please remember that there is no safe limit for drinking and driving, so don't risk it.
"During the festive period, our patrol crews will be looking out for those thoughtless individuals driving under the influence of drink or drugs."