A record number of gritters will patrol Scotland’s roads to help keep traffic moving this winter.
The fleet will now include 230 gritters operating from more than 40 depots around the trunk road network, as well as incident response vehicles.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said lessons have been learned and improvements made on previous winters.
These include sensors being installed on the Queensferry Crossing as part of a number of measures to improve the detection and management of ice accretion.
Winter service on-road testing facility has been further developed, with weather stations and sensors across the trunk road network.
Salt barns across the country now hold more salt than was used during the entire winter of 2019-2020, while Transport Scotland said it has refined “route-specific snow plans” for the M8, M74, M77 and M80 with the help of operating companies and Police Scotland.
Mr Matheson said: “Our teams always look to learn lessons from previous winters and have once again worked hard throughout the year to ensure we are well prepared for when the worst of the weather arrives.
“This ranges from the use of new technology, like ice accretion sensors and motorway access units, to trialling new treatments and adding more gritters to our fleet.
“Transport Scotland will continue to work closely with key partners like Police Scotland and the Met Office throughout the winter to ensure we respond quickly and effectively to weather events on the trunk road network.”
He added: “We can’t always predict the weather but we can put plans in place to help keep Scotland moving when the winter conditions move in.”
Mr Matheson urged motorists to check the Traffic Scotland site – my.trafficscotland.org – as well its Twitter page @trafficscotland for up to date information on the trunk road network.
Police Scotland have staff based at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry.
Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock urged people to ensure vehicles are prepared for the change in road conditions.
She said: “I would encourage drivers to check their vehicles before we experience the first of the wintry conditions.
“Some simple steps can be taken to prepare such as checking lights on vehicles to make sure they are in good working order, ensure tyres have sufficient tread, check windscreen washer fluid levels and look out scrapers for clearing frost and ice from your vehicle.”
Transport Scotland said it carried out its annual snow desk exercises with partner agencies in late October to test winter service operations over a period of severe weather within an ongoing Covid-19 environment.
It also has a dedicated Met Office adviser to help ensure key partner agencies work closely and effectively during winter.
Ian Cameron from the Met Office said: “The coronavirus pandemic brings additional challenges this winter and we will need to be even better prepared if we are to reduce the impact of severe weather and tackle the challenges it presents.
“Our meteorologists and advisors will continue to work closely with Transport Scotland over the coming months to deliver key weather information and advice to keep Scotland moving through the winter season.”