9am Briefing: Commuters struggle as snow returns

COMMUTERS were struggling to work on treacherous roads today as forecasters warned arctic conditions will continue for the next few days.

The city council said 22 gritters, 16 mini-tractors and 32 other vehicles had been out clearing snow, but some roads were still dangerous during this morning's rush hour.

Edinburgh Airport was open, though there were no flights to Heathrow, which remained shut.

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Special schools in Edinburgh were closed today, but primary and secondary schools were opening as normal.

Midlothian's six high schools, and Saltersgate School, were also open as normal. The area's 30 primary and nursery schools were opening at 10am today, but due to close at the normal time.

Forecasters said temperatures in the Lothians are set to plunge once again as snow showers make way for freezing fog and icy roads over the next few days.

Edinburgh Airport was fully operational, but BAA said "passengers should expect delays and cancellations due to weather conditions".

• A TEENAGER was forced to jump from her bedroom window after her home was apparently set alight by fireraisers.

A thirteen-year-old girl clambered on to a garage roof after the front door of her home, in Anne Street, Bathgate, went up in flames on Sunday morning.

Police now investigating the incident.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said: "We were called to a fire at a home in Bathgate at 8.06am.

"A 13-year-old female jumped from a bedroom window and on to a garage roof and climbed down.

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"She was checked over by ambulance crews at the scene but didn't need to go to hospital.

"An inquiry is now ongoing."

• A FATHER and son were robbed of their Christmas savings at knifepoint in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses regarding the assault and robbery that occurred in Muirhouse Drive.

Police are looking for three men in relation to the incident.

Witnesses have described the first as a black male, around 5ft 7inches in height, of average to broad build and was wearing a black padded jacket with hood, cap, grey scarf and local accent.

The other two are described as being white men, around 5ft 9inches in height and both were wearing a black hooded top.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or in confidence and complete anonymity, through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

• BOROUGHMUIR High School is to be redeveloped using funding from the Scottish Government because it is rated as one of the most dilapidated high schools in the country.

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Boroughmuir and Campbeltown Grammar School in Argyll are officially the worst two secondary school buildings in the country, according to the Scottish Government.

Edinburgh City Council education leader Marilyne MacLaren described the investment as "a lovely Christmas present for Boroughmuir".