Scotland Weather: travel misery set to continue

Disruption to travel across parts of Scotland is set to continue even after the expiry of a severe weather warning.

A number of rail and bus services in the amber alert area have been suspended throughout Friday morning over concerns for safety of staff and passengers.

But Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said roads teams will need time to make routes safe even after the Met Office snow warning expires at 10am and advised motorists to avoid travel.

He tweeted: “Please don’t assume on Fri 10.01am that trunk road network will be completely clear.

Snow plow and gritters have been struggling to cope with the weather

“Gritters etc will need time for post Red/Amber recovery.”

Troops have been called into transport medics to and from Edinburgh’s two biggest hospital’s after a request from NHS Lothian to the Scottish Government.

The extreme weather has seen health boards cancel non-essential operations and outpatient appointments on Friday, while NHS 24 has described its operations as being “stretched”.

Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow also saw tiles fly from its roof under pressure from the extreme weather.

A snowplough clears the road in Balloch. Picture: Getty

An estimated 1,000 vehicles were stuck on the M80 until Thursday afternoon, with some spending the night in their cars and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.

Other major roads such as the M876 and minor routes also faced severe disruption due to crashes and thick snow-cover.

As difficult conditions are set to continue, flights at Scotland’s busiest airports are facing another day of disruption and cancellations.

Glasgow and Edinburgh first called a halt to routes on Wednesday and will be reassessing safety in the morning.

Snow plow and gritters have been struggling to cope with the weather

Passengers have been warned to only travel to the airport once they have checked the status of their flight with the airline.

ScotRail has said no services will be running through the amber alert area until tests are carried out on tracks, while Virgin Trains has said its west coast route to Scotland could be closed while is eastern line will be limited.

Lothian Buses are among a number of operators warning of disruption to its routes on Friday morning, saying none will be running until at least 6am.

Hundreds of schools up and down the country will remain closed, including in East Lothian, West Lothian and Edinburgh.

A snowplough clears the road in Balloch. Picture: Getty

Glasgow School of Art has also been closed until Monday.

Witnesses due at 15 courts in Scotland have been told not to attend after trials were cancelled over safety fears.

Courts affected include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Livingston, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Hamilton, Alloa, Stirling, Falkirk, Paisley, Dumbarton, Airdrie, Greenock, Perth and Coatbridge.

Snow drifts of up to 10ft are being experienced in South Lanarkshire on exposed routes, wind constantly blowing snow from adjacent fields.