Weather: Heavy snowfall and winds cause disruption

The country was hit by heavy snowfall. Picture: Julie Bull
The country was hit by heavy snowfall. Picture: Julie Bull
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ACROSS Scotland, 18,000 homes were without power yesterday following what providers described as “extreme unseasonal weather”.

ScottishPower, which provides electricity to the Central Belt and the Borders, said around 6,000 homes were 
affected yesterday, largely in the Wigtownshire area of Dumfries and Galloway.

Scottish and Southern Energy, which owns Scottish Hydro and provides power to the Highlands and the islands off the west coast, said 11,000 homes in the Argyll region were affected, mainly in Campbeltown, Arran and Islay.

Amey, which operates Scotland’s trunk road network, said its crews were attempting to clear blocked routes across the south-west, but were “battling against relentless snowfall and high winds”.

Many power lines were brought down by the weight of ice forming on the cables.

In the south-west, engineers found 10ft-high snowdrifts as they battled to restore power. Some supplies were restored overnight.

Heavy snow is causing major disruption to travel around Scotland. Many people in Dumfries and Galloway were stuck in their cars overnight – and police are warning those in the area not to travel.

Several roads were closed in Dumfries and Galloway. Shaun Bythell, from Wigtown, was one of many to get stuck in snow on Friday evening.

He said: “I was driving back from Glasgow to Wigtown. It was fine most of the way until more or less Castle Douglas. At seven o’clock, a lorry had jackknifed at Palnure.” Following this, traffic ground to a halt and the road became blocked.

Bythell said he had managed to sleep and had extra clothing and food in his car.

The stranded motorist said there were more than 100 cars stuck, although a Scottish Government spokesman said anyone who remained in their cars had done so voluntarily as it is not aware of anyone not offered accommodation.

Police have advised the public not to travel in the Dumfries and Galloway area because of “extremely dangerous” conditions and to avoid parts of rural Angus.

Roads were also closed in Ayrshire, Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross, Argyll and Bute, and West Lothian. Although all roads were clear in the Highlands, there were warnings about drifts.

The Skye, Kessock, Friarton, Tay and Forth Road bridges all had speed restrictions due to strong winds. Ferry routes were also disrupted, with those between Gourock and Dunoon and Coll and Tiree cancelled and disruption likely on other routes.

Scotrail said there were no trains running between Kilmarnock and Carlisle or Ayr and Stranraer because of the snow.