Rail and road problems as temperatures hit new low of -17.1C

Rail and road problems as temperatures hit new low of -17.1C

Scotland is facing a second day of travel disruption after temperatures continued to plummet overnight.

Altnaharra in the Highlands saw a reading of -17.1C, which was the lowest recorded in the UK since Boxing Day 2010.

Further heavy snowfall and freezing conditions have caused problems on the roads and across the rail network.

A Met Office yellow warning for snow is in place for most of central and eastern Scotland.

Forecasters have warned that Wednesday night could be even colder and the cold spell is set to last until the weekend.

Under Covid rules, people should only be travelling for essential purposes, such as work, education, essential shopping and exercise.

In a tweet, Road Policing Scotland described driving conditions as “terrible” after dealing with stranded vehicles on the A720 Edinburgh bypass.

“Before jumping in the car, ask ‘is my journey essential?’ If it is, drive safe. Slow and steady wins the day,” they added.

The disruption includes:

More than 10cm (4in) of snow fell in parts of the Borders overnight, according to Jim Fraser, Scottish Borders Council’s emergency planning officer.

He urged people to only travel if their journey is essential and added: “The Met Office is continuing to forecast more persistent snow showers across some areas today.

“Our snowploughs and gritters are out clearing our primary road network and will move on to the secondary routes as and when conditions and resources allow.”

In Edinburgh, waste collections have been suspended so staff can help with the snow-clearing effort.

“We had our full fleet of gritters and mini-tractors out yesterday and throughout the night, treating roads, pavements and cycle lanes and clearing priority routes of snow,” transport and environment convener councillor Lesley Macinnes said.

“The team have been focusing on Covid vaccination centres and key arterial routes to make sure anyone needing to make an essential journey or to receive a Covid vaccination is able to.”

Meanwhile a snow blower, tractor fitted with a snow plough and an excavator had to be used to reopen a road blocked by snow in the Cairngorms.

Highland Council workers started the job last Friday and had the A939 Grantown on Spey to Bridge of Brown road cleared of tonnes of snow by Monday this week.

Met Office meteorologist Clare Nasir said “temperatures will plummet wherever you are” on Wednesday, and strong winds and snow will be “disruptive across many areas”.

Temperatures will struggle to get above zero during the day with overnight temperatures expected to drop to -6C and below in exposed areas.

An amber weather warning expired at 21:00 after up to 20cm (8in) of snow fell in parts of central Scotland.

Leave a Reply