Preparations are underway across the trunk road network to help people travel safely and keep Scotland moving throughout the festive season.
Transport Scotland will monitor conditions from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry, and their operating companies have already started their winter treatment plans.
Whilst there has been a relatively mild start to winter, over 2,900 treatments have already been carried out, with over 87,000 tonnes of salt used. Almost 537,000 tonnes are currently stored across Scotland.
More than two hundred gritters are located at 42 depots across and new specialist vehicles have been added to the winter fleet to ensure we can react quickly and effectively to challenging conditions.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson MSP 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."
Inspector David Hynd, Police Liaison Officer for Transport Scotland, added:
"Before setting off on your journey, check the route is open, and allow plenty of time in case of unexpected events. Make sure your motor vehicle is sufficiently fuelled, your mobile 'phone charged, and you have warm clothes and some food/water in case you are delayed or stranded due to an incident or severe conditions. If you need our assistance on the roads this winter to summon help or report an incident, please call 101, or in an emergency, 999.
"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."
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
"As the festive period begins, I would encourage everyone across North Ayrshire and beyond to plan their journeys with care and monitor traffic and weather before leaving the house.
“Police Scotland, Traffic Scotland and the Met Office all work together providing live updates to ensure you know if and how you can travel safely.
“Useful websites providing live updates are:
Traffic Scotland, Scotrail Journeycheck, CalMac and Traffic Scotland Weather Update.
“Being careful with journey planning avoiding driving after drinking or when tired, we will better enjoy the festive period!”