COMMUTERS in Scotland are being warned to brace themselves for travel disruption today, as forecasters predict heavy snow across much of the country.
Transport Scotland said last night that road and public transport users, particularly those in the east, should be prepared for severe wintry weather this morning.
The Met Office have issued amber weather warnings for eastern Scotland and urged the public to “be prepared”.
The alerts include the Borders, North-east Fife, Perth & Kinross, Angus, Aberdeenshire and Moray. Forecasters have also warned of heavy snow, with up to 20cm expected on higher ground.
Strong winds are expected with potential for drifting snow. A number of existing yellow ‘Be Aware’ warnings remain in place across the rest of the country.
A spokesman from the Met Office said: “Sunday was not that bad with some light snow flurries which did not come to much. However, that picture has changed overnight, with snow coming up from the south spreading across the east of Scotland in the early hours of Monday morning.
“Very strong easterly winds mean that along the east coast much of the snow will turn into sleet, so there will probably not be a huge accumulation of snow, even in Edinburgh City Centre. However, that will change the further inland you go.”
The Met Office spokesman said travel on the A68 and A7 into the Borders could be hit and strong easterly winds meant snow drifting in some areas.
He added: “Parts of the A90 to Fife could be affected, as well as Perthshire, Angus and inland Aberdeenshire, which have amber warnings into Tuesday. However, we are not expecting significant snow in the Borders on Tuesday.”
He said that it was a different picture in the west of Scotland. “A small amount of snow, up to 2cm, could fall in Glasgow, with possibly a bit more in Lanarkshire as well as the eastern parts of Argyll and the Trossachs, but the north-west Highlands might well remain dry.”
Last night, Transport Scotland’s Multi-Agency Response Team (Mart) said it had higher than ever salt stocks and a strengthened fleet of gritters.
Although Scotland’s airports are not expecting significant amounts of snow, passengers planning to fly have been urged to contact their airlines, as flights to London and beyond could be at risk. Heathrow has cancelled 10 per cent of its flights today. About 250 flights from the airport were grounded yesterday because of snow and ongoing bad visibility.
Assistant Chief Constable Allan Moffat, speaking on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, urged motorists to take care: “Check conditions and travel advice before setting off and ensure that both you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the journey.
“Allow plenty of time and make sure that you have sufficient fuel and supplies, such as warm clothing, food and water, and when you are out on the road, remain vigilant and continue listening to weather and travel reports,” he said.
Gavin Hill-Smith, spokesman for the AA warned commuters to drive carefully on the roads.
“The main problem will be compact snow and ice on the roads with fresh snow on top, which can create very hazardous driving conditions,” he said.
Scotland’s transport minister Keith Brown said: “As the wintry weather continues, Transport Scotland stands ready to respond swiftly and appropriately.”
A SPOKESMAN from the Met Office said eastern Scotland should brace itself for snowy weather over the next two days.
“The east of the country will take the brunt of the snow, which has come up from the south.
“Amber weather warnings will stay in place until Tuesday for North-east Fife, Perth & Kinross, Angus, Aberdeenshire and Moray, while the west of the country should experience some light snow showers.
“By Wednesday the snow will have dwindled to a few flurries in the east, with low temperatures and sharp frosts in the west.
“However, towards the end of the week, there could well be rain on its way, which will bring a thaw.”