'˜Help other Scots battle through the snow', urges John Swinney

Scots are being urged to get their hands dirty to get the country moving, with people asked to help clear pavements or offer neighbours a lift to deal with extreme weather conditions.

Snow in the Kirk Wynd in Selkirk on Thursday. Neighbours are being asked to pitch in to help clear pavements

The Scottish Government has declared the extent of snow drifts means services are stretched and conditions on some roads remain difficult for local people, delivery drivers and pedestrians.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has appealed to people’s good nature, urging members of the public to consider what help they could offer.

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He has suggested helping clear local pavements and footpaths, assisting farmers to keep rural roadways open or pleading with 4x4 owners to give a lift to neighbours.

Mr Swinney, who chaired the latest meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room (SGoRR) this morning, said: “Throughout the country we are hearing many examples of people going above and beyond the call of duty, showing exemplary community spirit to help their local community deal with the extreme snowy conditions.

“Local and national services are working together to do all we can to keep our roads clear of snow. However, the situation remains very challenging, particularly in rural and eastern areas of Scotland.

“If you have capacity to help neighbours or are the owner of large vehicles that could assist the clearance work on your local road, I would encourage you to volunteer and look out for vulnerable people.

“Shop deliveries in some local areas may be affected in the short term, so I would also ask that people are patient and sensible when purchasing food or fuel, as the situation gradually returns to normal.

“While the warning alert has reduced to yellow, cold conditions and snow are expected to continue for the next few days so please exercise caution, carefully prepare and avoid unnecessary journeys.”

A yellow ‘be aware’ warning remains in force for most of Scotland, with a focus on eastern areas. Traffic Scotland has warned that “significant disruption to transport should be expected” while services are restored. The extreme cold weather is expected to continue over the weekend and into next week.

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