Amber weather alert lifted but more disruption expected
2 March 2018, 13:51
Snowy conditions will continue to cause significant disruption across the country although the amber weather warning has been lifted, authorities have said.
A yellow "be aware" warning of snow is still in place across Scotland until 11.55pm on Saturday and across some parts of the country over the weekend into Monday.
The weather has caused difficult driving conditions while hundreds of schools remain shut.
On Friday morning 20 to 30 vehicles were freed after they became stuck in snow on the A92 near Inverbervie in Aberdeenshire shortly before 7am.
In Easter Ross, police said the Nigg, Fearn, Balintore, Portmahomack, Tain and Eddertson areas were closed off due to the adverse weather conditions, which are causing snowdrifts.
Some drivers were also stuck in snow on the B9175 near Nigg while police in north Glasgow tweeted a picture of a snowdrift as high as their police car, stating that Balmore Road was closed due to conditions.
Authorities said that significant disruption to transport should be expected while services are restored on Friday and urged people only to travel if necessary.
Police Scotland Superintendent Helen Harrison said: "The snow is not due to stop and neither will we until we are confident that the risks associated with travelling in the poor conditions have reduced significantly.
"The snow has settled and is not expected to thaw, so extreme care will still need to be taken on the roads towards lunchtime and beyond, as public transport systems also start to operate again.
"You should still consider if your journey is necessary and think about using buses and trains when they are running or postponing your travel until weather has improved further."
A number of rail and bus services in the amber alert area were suspended throughout Friday morning.
Virgin Trains are running no services north of Newcastle on the east coast on Friday and does not expect to run services between Carlisle and Scotland for the rest of Friday on the west coast.
Flights at Scotland's busiest airports are facing another day of disruption and cancellations.
Edinburgh Airport was open and Glasgow Airport said teams worked through the night clearing snow from the airfield, but passengers have been warned to only travel to the airport once they have checked the status of their flight with the airline.
Troops have been called into transport medics to and from Edinburgh's two biggest hospitals 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 saw tiles fly from its roof under pressure from the extreme weather.
A number of bus operators are also warning of disruption to routes on Friday morning while Edinburgh Trams is running a reduced service.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "While the extreme weather conditions begin to ease I would urge people to continue to take care and to check for the latest guidance from Police Scotland throughout the day.
"Snow showers are still expected throughout the day and a yellow warning is in place throughout today and into the weekend.
"We would expect to see continued disruption to travel and difficult road conditions over the course of the day, so I would encourage everyone to check in with travel operators ahead of any journey, and for parents to check school notices with their local authorities. "
Hundreds of schools up and down the country will remain closed, including in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, East Lothian, West Lothian and Edinburgh.
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.