Services to keep Scotland's roads moving this winter have been expanded and improved this year after 'lessons were learned' from previous years.

The Scottish Goverment said it had refined snow plans for key routes including the M8, M74, M77 and M80 with the help of Police Scotland.

The fleet has been expanded and will include 230 gritters operating from more than 40 depots around the trunk road network, as well as incident response vehicles and an enhanced patrol provision around parts of the network.

A new salt storage facility with capacity for 17,500 tonnes has opened in Polmadie in Glasogw and will be Scotland's largest.

The popular gritter tracker will return allowing drivers to follow named gritters providing treatments and patrols around the country. 

HeraldScotland:

In 2018 police declared a critical incident after more than 200 motorists were stranded overnight on the M74 as heavy snow and ice caused treacherous driving conditions.

Moffat Mountain Rescue were drafted into check on drivers as all schools in the Borders were closed as well as dozens in the Highlands.

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “Our teams have once again worked hard throughout the year to learn lessons from last year and bring an improved winter service to our trunk road network.

READ MORE: Snow to fall in parts of Scotland as 'Arctic air' to bring cold front overnight 

"We now have Scotland’s largest salt barn to call upon, which not only holds a huge amount of salt but also harvests rainwater for brine production.

“The relationships between Transport Scotland and key partners, like Police Scotland and the Met Office, will continue to play a vital role, allowing us to respond quickly and effectively to winter weather events."

Motorists were being urged to ensure vehicles are in good condition and to plan ahead for journeys.

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, Deputy Head of Road Policing Division, said: "This time of year has the potential to cause some disruption to the road network as wintry conditions arrive and we work closely with agencies to support their efforts in keeping motorists moving on Scotland's roads during the winter.

"Before driving, ensure your vehicle is in good condition and plan ahead, including having an alternative route in case of closures or delays.

"Transport Scotland, the Met Office and SEPA websites and social media channels have valuable information about weather and road disruptions and we would encourage people to check these sites before setting off on their journey.

"If you do experience wintry conditions on the roads, please slow down and drive to the conditions."