Drivers stuck in snow as severe weather continues


Severe weather is causing continued disruption to travel in Scotland, with dozens of drivers stuck in a snowdrift.

Police said 20 to 30 vehicles became stuck in snow on the A92 near Inverbervie in Aberdeenshire shortly before 7am and efforts were under way to free them.

In Easter Ross, police said the Nigg, Fearn, Balintore, Portmahomack, Tain and Eddertson areas were closed off due to the adverse weather conditions, which are causing snowdrifts.

They were also dealing with incidents on the B9175 where some drivers were reportedly stuck during the night.

An amber weather warning for snow expires at 10am on Friday; however, a yellow warning of snow across Scotland is in place until 11.55pm on Saturday.

A number of rail and bus services in the amber alert area have been suspended throughout Friday morning over concerns for safety of staff and passengers.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said roads teams will need time to make routes safe even after the Met Office snow warning expires at 10am, and advised motorists to avoid travel.

He tweeted: "Please don't assume on Fri 10.01am that trunk road network will be completely clear.

"Gritters etc will need time for post Red/Amber recovery."

Troops have been called into transport medics to and from Edinburgh's two biggest hospitals after a request from NHS Lothian to the Scottish Government.

The extreme weather has seen health boards cancel non-essential operations and outpatient appointments on Friday, while NHS 24 has described its operations as being "stretched".

Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow saw tiles fly from its roof under pressure from the extreme weather.

An estimated 1,000 vehicles were stuck on the M80 until Thursday afternoon, with some spending the night in their cars and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.

Other major roads such as the M876 and minor routes also faced severe disruption due to crashes and deep snow.

As difficult conditions are set to continue, flights at Scotland's busiest airports are facing another day of disruption and cancellations.

Glasgow and Edinburgh first called a halt to routes on Wednesday and will be reassessing safety during the morning.

Passengers have been warned to only travel to the airport once they have checked the status of their flight with the airline.

ScotRail has said no services will be running through the amber alert area until tests are carried out on tracks, while Virgin Trains has said its west coast route to Scotland could be closed and is eastern line will be limited.

A number of bus operators are also warning of disruption to routes on Friday morning, while Edinburgh Trams is running a reduced service.

Hundreds of schools up and down the country will remain closed, including in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, East Lothian, West Lothian and Edinburgh.

Glasgow School of Art has also been closed until Monday.

Witnesses due at 15 courts in Scotland have been told not to attend after trials were cancelled over safety fears.

Courts affected include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Livingston, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Hamilton, Alloa, Stirling, Falkirk, Paisley, Dumbarton, Airdrie, Greenock, Perth and Coatbridge.