By Denna Bowman
Arctic conditions which brought parts of Scotland to grinding halt late last year, could result in new jobs being created at the Michelin tyres plant in Dundee.
The tyres manufacturer has been invited to government level talks about a Scottish initiative on winter tyres.
Ministers are exploring whether greater use of winter tyres could prevent a similar scenario happening again and keep the country moving.
Winter tyres, which are made from a rubber compound with better adhesion in snow and ice than conventional tyres, are already manufactured at Michelin’s Dundee plant.
The Scottish politicians have brought together a voluntary alliance of representatives from the insurance industry, tyre manufacturers and distributors and driving organisations to meet transport minister Keith Brown later this month.
Mr Brown said: “Last month we experienced the coldest December on record, with heavy snow and freezing conditions challenging our transport networks to new levels.
“The impact of that weather brought significant disruption to our transport networks. We are continually looking to improve our resilience response as we work together to keep Scotland open for business, helping goods get to market and enable the continued delivery of important front line services.
“The alliance on winter tyres is one piece of that work. By bringing this alliance together, I hope we can share experiences and best practice and examine new ways of ensuring every reasonable step is taken to allow individuals and businesses to make informed choices about all the options available to them to continue safe, reliable journeys in severe weather conditions, including the use of winter tyres.”
The alliance will consider issues of supply and demand for winter tyres and how to promote information to make informed choices on their fitting, according to the report in The Courier newspaper.
Joe FitzPatrick, Dundee West MSP, added: “Dundee’s Michelin plant make winter tyres and they could be in for a big boost if Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government can get agreement that winter tyres would make a difference in future cold winters.”