Date lodged: 24 October 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how much it has spent on road grit each winter since 2006-07, and how much it plans to spend in winter 2017-18.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 8 November 2017
Salt stocks are fundamental to a successful winter on our roads and we currently have more salt in stock than was used for the whole of last winter. National salt figures are published on Transport Scotland’s website: https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/salt-group-situation-report/
The payment mechanism for the provision of winter service through our Operating Company contracts is a fixed ‘monthly sum’. This includes the procurement of salt, winter fleet and equipment for use on our trunk roads.
For this winter season, we have further invested in specialist plant. This includes an all-terrain 4x4 (Unimog) for use as a winter patrol vehicle on the M80, a Relief Vehicle for use during severe flooding events and a state of the art combi spreader for development of our liquid treatment trials.
The Scottish Salt Group monitored the restocking process throughout the summer and met with suppliers to confirm there is adequate salt production to meet the demand and that restocking targets for Scotland are being met.
Following the salt shortage of 2010-11, strategic salt was purchased (in addition to operational salt) and costs incurred to date are £11.9 million; inclusive of the purchase, haulage and storage. We have a strategic salt supply managed by the Scottish Salt Group of approx. 83,750 tonnes and requests from local roads authorities to use our strategic salt will be considered during emergencies.