TEMPERATURES plunged below zero in many areas during the coldest night of the winter so far, weather experts said.
• School transport problems have been reported by another 49 primaries
• Two people taken to hospital after a three-car crash on the A90
• It was generally the coldest night so far this winter, and the cold is expected to continue
• An elderly man was found dead by his partner close to a school in Angus in freezing conditions
More cold conditions can be expected over the next week as Britain continues to feel the chill.
Only two schools in Aberdeenshire - Strathdon and Towie primaries - were closed today because of adverse weather conditions. But school transport problems were also reported by another 49 primaries and secondaries in the region following a night of limited snowfall but plunging temperatures.
Two people were taken to hospital after a three-car crash on the A90 near Portlethen, south of Aberdeen, at the start of the morning rush hour, causing major tailbacks in both directions before the road was cleared around 9am.
But the infamous A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul road has re-opened to traffic this morning, allowing skiers access to the popular Lecht ski centre.
Transport minister Keith Brown said: “We would remind motorists and the travelling public to be aware of the potential dangers of snow and icy conditions. An added risk is that fresh snow could fall on hard-packed ice and already-treacherous surfaces, so keep up to date with live travel information and advice for preparing for and driving in testing conditions.
“The public should be prepared for the risk of significant disruption to travel, especially over the M8 corridor to the east of Glasgow, across Perthshire and over much of inland eastern Scotland.”
Coldest winter night so far
John Lee, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “It was generally the coldest night of the winter so far, though most severe in Scotland.”
A temperature of minus 8.7C (17F) was recorded at Benson in Oxfordshire, while the lowest anywhere was at Braemar in Aberdeenshire, at minus 12.9C (9F). There was also a reading of minus 10.7C (12F) at Kinbrace in Sutherland.
Western parts of Scotland had snow later in the night, and by mid-morning there was snow or freezing rain in most areas north of the border.
“Looking ahead over the coming week, it is expected to continue cold with an area of low pressure forming to the east in a few days’ time, and bringing wintry showers to eastern areas,” Mr Lee said.
In Scotland it emerged that an elderly man was found dead by his partner close to a school in freezing conditions.
Robert Johnston, 79, was discovered near Panmurefield Road outside Monifieth High School in Angus on Wednesday at around 5am.
Tayside Police said the sudden death of Mr Johnston, known locally as Grahame, was not being treated as suspicious and that a report had been submitted to the procurator fiscal.