Rivers freeze over, the mercury plunges to minus 16ºC – but pavements still not gritted
HOSPITALS and emergency services have had to deal with a spate of injuries caused by falls due to councils failing to tackle ice-bound pavements, it has been claimed.
With the freezing conditions set to continue, the Scottish Ambulance Service says it has had to deal with a big increase in accidents on icy footpaths.
Some residents in Aberdeen have threatened to refuse to pay council tax in protest at a lack of gritting on the city's paths.
William Morrison, 42, was left partially paralysed after an accident in 1985 and walks with the aid of a stick.
He said: "The pavements are an absolute disgrace. There are a lot of elderly residents out here and they haven't even bothered to clear away the snow."
George Thomson, chairman of the Grampian Senior Citizens Forum, said: "Not a bit of sand has been put down on these pavements. I had to walk on the road the other day as the pavements were so treacherous. It is absolutely outrageous."
Yesterday, most of the main roads were cleared of snow, but the pavements were covered and topped with a layer of thick ice.
Oil firm manager Jim Smith, 49, of Bridge of Don, said he would refuse to pay his council tax.
He said: "The roads and pavements are absolutely terrible. We pay 180 a month for council tax and what for? There's four inches of ice on the street. It's an absolute disgrace that people have to put up with this."
Labour councillor Willie Young said the council had a statutory obligation to clear paths and roadways.
"It does the city of Aberdeen no good. Our credibility is going down the drain every day," he said.
A council spokesman said crews were tackling priority areas around shops and sheltered housing. He said: "We have 19 pavement gritters out, which is the full complement. We are doing everything we can to clear the pavements.
"It has been sub-zero through the day and night, so it has been difficult."
The bitterly cold snap continued yesterday with most of Scotland again affected by sub-zero temperatures and more forecast over the next few days.
Tyndrum in Stirlingshire was the coldest place in Scotland early yesterday morning, with the mercury dropping to –16C, while at Tulloch Bridge in the Highlands it was –14C.
Inverness shivered at –8C and at Glasgow Airport temperatures dropped to –4C. In Dumfries and Galloway, the A75 was closed between Stranraer and Newton Stewart because of treacherous, icy conditions.
The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for the whole of Scotland, with widespread icy conditions expected on the roads.
The Scottish Government warned people to take extra care, with another very cold night expected and widespread wintry showers. Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, said: "Temperatures are forecast to plummet again. I'd therefore encourage everyone to be especially careful when out and about."
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east