Winter maintenance

BEAR Scotland is responsible for managing and maintaining 1045km of trunk roads in North East Scotland.

Winter service is provided out of eight operational depots.

The winter service period runs from October 1 till May 15, but can be extended beyond these dates should weather forecasts or actual conditions dictate.

Between November 1 and March 31 seven overnight patrol vehicles will cover the North East network. The patrol vehicles are capable of carrying out reactive salting and record real time information on road surface temperatures.

The main focus of the winter service is to carry out precautionary treatments to prevent ice forming. In 2011/12 BEAR carried out over 1750 precautionary treatments in the North East Unit.

BEAR use detailed road weather forecasts provided by MeteoGroup UK.

Current road surface temperatures and road conditions are monitored through the Vaisala Road Weather Information System using 33 roadside weather stations located throughout the North East trunk road network.

Between November 1 and March 31 conditions are monitored from the winter control room on a 24/7 basis.

Bear have over 100 operatives trained to deal with winter in the North East Unit.

BEAR Scotland has 45 vehicles involved in carrying out precautionary treatments, patrols and snow clearance in the North East Unit.

The dedicated spreaders used for precautionary treatments and patrols are equipped for pre-wetted salting. This is a process whereby brine is mixed with the dry salt immediately prior to spreading to help it stick to the road surface and start the melting process.

BEAR Scotland has four snow blowers based in the North East Unit. These all-wheel drive vehicles are capable of moving up to 400 tonnes of snow per hour.

they have 16,000 tonnes of salt stored in the North East Unit ready for the start of the winter service period.

BEAR Scotland operates its winter maintenance service in close co-operation with the Police and Local Authorities.