Flights cancelled as winter freeze disruption continues

More than 20 flights have been cancelled at Scotland's main airports as the knock on effect of the winter freeze in England and Wales continues to play havoc with the transport network.
The Met Office has extended its yellow weather warning for more snow and icy conditions into Tuesday morning. Picture: John DevlinThe Met Office has extended its yellow weather warning for more snow and icy conditions into Tuesday morning. Picture: John Devlin
The Met Office has extended its yellow weather warning for more snow and icy conditions into Tuesday morning. Picture: John Devlin

With heavy snow and ice causing continued disruption across much of the UK, flights from Scotland’s main hubs were axed as airports struggled to clear the backlog from the weekend.

In all, 22 flights were cancelled as of late morning, with other services experiencing delays.

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At Edinburgh Airport, three British Airways services to Heathrow were cancelled, along with two KLM flights to Amsterdam, an Easyjet service to the Dutch city, and a Flybe flight to Shetland.

The extent of the disruption, which saw up to 32cm of snow fall in parts of Wales and led to Birmingham and Luton airports temporary closing their runways, meant that a British Airways flight to Heathrow scheduled for tomorrow morning has also been cancelled.

London-bound services were also the main victims at Glasgow Airport, where four British Airways flights to Heathrow were cancelled, along with three KLM and Easyjet services to Amsterdam and a Flybe flight to Birmingham.

At Aberdeen Airport, two British Airways flights to Heathrow were cancelled, as were two KLM Amsterdam services and a scheduled Flybe flight to Wick.

Due to the ongoing disruption, airports have advised passengers to check with their airlines prior to setting off.

Meanwhile, there was widespread disruption to the rail network caused by a broken down train at Glasgow Central, one of the country’s busiest stations.

A host of services were cancelled including journeys on the Cathcart Circle route and lines to Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Ayr, Ardrossan, Carlisle, and Newcastle. Dozens more services were subjected to delays or reduced routes, causing misery for morning commuters.

Scotrail said it expected the disruption, caused when the train broke down shortly after 7am, would last until early afternoon.

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In a statement, it said: “We have had a broken down train earlier today at Glasgow Central which has caused disruption this morning. Some delays, alterations and are occuring on some routes but we are working hard to return train services to normal.”

Some 24 schools in the Highlands were closed due to bad weather and treacherous road conditions, with five schools in Aberdeenshire also closed.

It comes as the Met Office extended a yellow warning covering the east coast of Scotland and the Highlands and islands, with freezing temperatures causing icy conditions and further snowfall forecast. The revised warning comes into place at 3pm and is set to last until 11am tomorrow.

The Met Office said wintry showers will bring accumulations of between two to five centimetres of fresh show, mostly on higher ground in eastern swaths of Scotland.

It added that roads and railways are likely to be affected and said motorists should expect delays to their journeys.

However, Scotland was again spared the worst of the severe weather conditions, which led to major disruption on roads across England, with hundreds of schools closed and thousands left without power.

Pete Williams, the RAC’s road safety spokesman, said they were expecting 11,000 breakdowns today, a figure which is 20 per cent above the seasonal norm.

“Many motorists are waking up to what has been dubbed Black Ice Monday on the roads as treacherous ice and snow conditions have been compounded by plummeting temperatures overnight,” he said.

“Drivers are advised to consider whether their journey is essential or if they can delay it and travel later.”