Heavy snow causes tricky conditions for motorists

Heavy snow caused traffic disruption for motorists caught in tricky driving conditions as there were warnings some rural communities could be cut off.

Police urged people only to travel if absolutely necessary in areas covered by amber snow and ice warnings, while Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf asked commuters to try and head home early.

Friday vening rush hour saw delays on the M74 and travel officers are warning other routes across the country could face difficulties over the coming days.

A Met Office "be prepared" amber warning covers Tayside, Fife, central and southern Scotland and Strathclyde.

A postman delivers mail in blizzard conditions near Doune, Central Scotland
A postman delivers mail in blizzard conditions near Doune, Central Scotland

It warns of heavy snow showers with up to 12 inches (30cm) possible over the highest routes, and up to four inches (10cm) at lower levels.

Forecasters said there is a chance of power cuts, while some rural communities may be cut off.

Dozens of schools around the country are closed while some shut early due to the weather.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Police Scotland urged people to think carefully before travelling.

Superintendent Louise Blakelock, of Police Scotland's road policing department, said: "If you travel on the road network in the warning area, you will be disrupted and you will face significant delays."

She added: "I would like to make it clear that there is a high risk of disruption for road journeys and with that comes a high likelihood of the conditions being very poor, therefore I would ask people whether their journey is really necessary?"

The Scottish Government said the Multi Agency Response Team (MART), involving partner organisations such as Police Scotland, is monitoring the situation.

Here's the Minister for Transport and Islands @HumzaYousaf with an update on travel advice at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre ?:

*AMBER WARNING IN PLACE* High Risk of Disruption ?@transcotlandpic.twitter.com/xgRh6qdpBa

-- Traffic Scotland (@trafficscotland) January 19, 2018

Mr Yousaf said: "With the Met Office issuing another amber warning for snow, we are facing another potentially difficult period for drivers on the trunk road network.

"We're being told the period between 3pm and 10pm tonight is going to be challenging, so I'm urging people to avoid travel within the amber area at that time.

"More widely, we're advising people to avoid travel if possible. If you choose to travel, particularly in the evening peak period, you are likely to face significant delays and disruption.

"Consider if you can make your journey home from work earlier than usual. Scottish Government officials are contacting business groups to make them aware of this advice, and I'd also ask employers to be flexible and consider letting staff leave early.

"If you must travel, then please take extra time to plan your journey, listen to police advice and drive to the conditions."

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

He added: "Our winter maintenance teams continue to work around the clock and stand ready to react to changing conditions. I once again thank them for their hard work in recent days."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to be careful, tweeting: "Travel conditions likely to be difficult so please take care, follow advice @trafficscotland - and only travel if you have to."

Some schools in the Borders, South Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross and the Highlands are closed due to the weather, while North Lanarkshire Council said schools would shut early.

A yellow "be aware" warning of snow and ice for most of Scotland, Northern Ireland and North West England, North East England, Yorkshire and Humber is in force until 11.55pm on Friday.

It warns of frequent snow showers which will be accompanied by hail and lightning at times, particularly across western Scotland.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Conor Riordan, Press Association Scotland'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9be2a16d-5086-4b50-88fe-6a3c0ec1f701'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Heavy snow causes tricky rush hour conditions for motorists'});