City running out of salt as big freeze brings more problems

COUNCIL chiefs today said they had just enough stocks of salt to combat Edinburgh's icy roads, but needed fresh supplies soon.

Supplies of salt to grit the roads are running dangerously low across many parts of the country as the big freeze continues to cause problems.

In the Capital stocks are running low with another delivery expected over the next couple of days.

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A council spokesman said: "We have got some salt left to keep us going but we are in need of a delivery. We are still prioritising the main routes, as was the situation before. We do have enough supplies to keep us going until we get a delivery this week."

The Scottish Government was forced to step in last night to ensure there was enough salt to grit roads in Fife this morning.

A man had to be airlifted to hospital after being injured in a sledging accident in the Pentland Hills yesterday.

The accident, in the hills behind the Flotterstone Inn, happened just after 2.30pm. Details of the incident were unclear, but ambulance staff said the man, believed to be in his 30s, had badly injured his back whilst sledging.

Attempts were made to reach him by ambulance, but after that failed he was brought down the hillside on a stretcher pulled by a skidoo and taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in an RAF helicopter.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "The man had injured himself quite badly in an area which was very difficult to reach, which is why we needed the helicopter. His injuries are not life-threatening, but we obviously needed to get him out of the cold and receiving treatment."

Firefighters had to free a Shetland pony after heavy snow caused its barn at Northfield Farm, Longridge, West Lothian, to collapse. Samson, a young Shetland pony, was not hurt in the collapse, but was left in an agitated state by the incident.

Freezing conditions are expected to continue across the Lothians throughout the rest of the week, the Met Office said.

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Forecasters said the early hours of tomorrow morning was likely to be the coldest, with temperatures plummeting to -8C.

Further snowfall is also predicted tomorrow despite the possibility of more sunshine today.

The temperature may creep above freezing tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday, but could drop again towards the weekend.

Despite the grim predictions, no severe weather warnings have been issued in the area.

Edinburgh experienced another freezing night last night, with temperatures pushing -7C.