Scotland braced for 'worst winter in 50 years'


Following predictions of Scotland's coldest winter for 50 years, transport minister Derek Mackay has revealed the country has a record number of snow ploughs and salt spreaders available.

A total of 205 snowploughs and salt spreaders are on call after 57 new gritters were acquired in preparation as well as a ‘healthy supply’ of salt, the minister said.

He added that offenders may be ordered to clear snow and help keep communities moving, after being asked by MSPs if people issued with community service orders will be called upon.

Mr Mackay said: ‘It is a matter for local authorities, but of course the Scottish Government is sympathetic to councils deploying people in this way.’

When questioned on the preparations, the minister added: ‘We can do our best, I can’t guarantee there won’t be incidents, but, yes, I believe the actions have been undertaken.’

In rail, operators have procured new snow and ice clearing machines, while airports have extra snow clearing equipment, runway sweepers and de-icers on hand and improved forecasting equipment, the Scotsman reports.

Labour MSP David Stewart said: ‘I think there are very real fears that Scotland faces fuel shortages as road and transport networks grind to a halt.’

Mr Mackay will be speaking at Road Expo Scotland next week. To book a free place click here:

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