And finally… Innovative icephobic coating to be trialled on M8 tunnel

An innovative new icephobic coating is to be installed by Scotland TranServ on the M8 Charing Cross tunnel to help tackle the potential for icicles forming under extreme cold temperatures.

The icephobic coating is being trialled as part of Transport Scotland’s strategic trunk road management programme.

During the winter of 2017/18 and particularly during the Beast from the East, it was necessary to implement emergency closures of the trunk road in order to clear the icicles, maintaining safety for road users.

Brian Coyle, Scotland TranServ’s assistant network bridges engineer, said: “The extreme temperatures of recent winters led to a number of issues with icicles forming on the underside of the Charing Cross tunnel. On several occasions, it was necessary for our Operations team to close the motorway in order to clear the forming ice from the roof and protect the health and safety of drivers.

“Scotland TranServ has been involved in extensive consultation with the local authority, emergency services and key stakeholders to carefully schedule this three-week programme of work to have minimal impact on commuters and businesses, avoiding peak holiday periods, busy weekends and major events. Traffic management will only be implemented once traffic flows are sufficiently low.”

In order to install this new coating, a series of overnight closures of the M8 at Charing Cross will be implemented from August 18, starting westbound. Works will switch to eastbound for the second half of the programme.

Works will last for approximately three weeks.