Impact of weather on Scotland's trunk road network - case study

Forth Road Bridge

Weather conditions such as temperature, snow, wind, frost, low temperatures and rainfall inevitably affect Scotland's trunk road network and can cause hazardous conditions for road users.

It is important to provide local, relevant information about predicted severe or widespread weather events, so those planning to travel can make informed choices about routes to take and mode of transport to use.

Met Office involvement

Since 2005 the Met Office has worked closely with Transport Scotland to develop a channel to inform road users if weather conditions are likely to have a significant impact on their journey.

Frequently updated information is displayed for regions across Scotland on the Traffic Scotland and Freight Scotland websites. This service is supported by detailed weather forecasts and warnings supplied by the Met Office.

This has enabled Transport Scotland to routinely provide important information to road users to assist them in travelling safely. The information is also used by the Traffic Scotland operations centre to inform displays on the variable message signs deployed across many parts of the Scottish trunk road network.

The service runs from the beginning of October until April, providing detailed forecasts of expected weather conditions. Frequently updated forecasts are provided for individual routes and weather warnings complement the routine inputs.

During the summer months, when the impact of weather conditions on travel tends to be less frequent, weather warnings are used to support advisory messages on the variable message displays.

Outcome

By providing Traffic Scotland with real-time weather forecasts, users of the trunk road network are better informed of the weather events that they may encounter during their journey. Advanced warning allows Traffic Scotland and the wider stakeholder group to implement network management strategies designed to deal with significant weather impacts, contributing to the efficient operation of the network and the overall safety of travellers.

Last updated: 2 August 2012