Call on communities to work together to clear snow

2 March 2018, 16:45

car with snow

Communities are being asked to work together to clear up the snow as Scotland continues to recover from "the Beast from the East".

Wild weather is set to continue to cause some disruption, with yellow "be aware" warnings for snow and wind still in place across parts of the country over the weekend into Monday.

Many communities have already started to clear the snow and the Scottish Government is calling for volunteers to help where they can in clearing up local roads and pavements and check on vulnerable people.

Rural roads and urban streets are maintained by local authorities but the extent of snow drifts mean areas remain difficult for local people, delivery drivers and pedestrians.

Shoppers are also being asked to be "sensible" when buying food and supplies as stocks run low in some areas.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Throughout the country we are hearing many examples of people going above and beyond the call of duty, showing exemplary community spirit to help their local community deal with the extreme snowy conditions.

"Local and national services are working together to do all we can to keep our roads clear of snow. However, the situation remains very challenging, particularly in rural and eastern areas of Scotland.

"If you have capacity to help neighbours, or are the owner of large vehicles that could assist the clearance work on your local road, I would encourage you to volunteer and look out for vulnerable people.

"Shop deliveries in some local areas may be affected in the short-term, so I would also ask that people are patient and sensible when purchasing food or fuel, as the situation gradually returns to normal.

"While the warning alert has reduced to yellow, cold conditions and snow are expected to continue for the next few days so please exercise caution, carefully prepare and avoid unnecessary journeys."

The Army has already been drafted in to help 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.

Hundreds of schools remained shut for a third day on Friday but some transport links began to recover as the amber weather warning expired.

Glasgow and Edinburgh airports were able to get a number of flights in and out after long delays and cancellations since Wednesday.

Limited train and bus services were in operation and roads in the central belt, where hundreds had been stranded earlier in the week, were clearer.

There were still issues though with the M90 among roads hit by snowdrifts sweeping on to the carriageway prompting a clear-up by ploughs and gritters.

Further north, 20 to 30 vehicles needed to be freed after they became stuck in snow on the A92 near Inverbervie in Aberdeenshire.

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."