Bad weather hits airport flights

Keith Brown at control centreKeith Brown spent the night at Transport Scotland’s control centre
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Scotland is bracing itself for more Arctic weather as cold air moves south across the country.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning of icy roads, particularly during the rush hour, as temperatures drop below freezing.

There are widespread snow showers in northern Scotland but no reports of serious disruption on the roads.

All Shetland schools have been closed and some rail services suspended in the Highlands and the west of Scotland and

Heavy snow showers coupled with high winds on Shetland are making driving conditions difficult.

Temperatures in much of the central belt are still well above freezing but they are falling fast, especially in the east.

The temperature in Edinburgh dropped from 6.1C at 0500 GMT to 2.6C at 0600 GMT and is forecast to continue falling.

Local authorities have had gritting teams working through the night to keep the roads open.

Scotland’s new transport minister, Keith Brown, spent the night at Transport Scotland’s control centre in Glasgow, along with police and transport officials.

His predecessor Stewart Stevenson quit the job at the weekend after blizzards brought gridlock to roads, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded overnight in their cars.

On Tuesday the new transport minister published a six-point plan aimed at keeping the country moving if the severe weather strikes again.

Measures include storing salt and grit at key locations on the road network for quicker access, and the possibility of removing central barriers on roads to allow easy access to vehicles that are blocking the carriageway.

He said: “We can assure Scotland that every effort is being made to prepare our transport network for the forecast impending heavy snowfall, and that all operations – thousands of people across multiple agencies including police, operating companies and government bodies – are working around the clock to mitigate weather impact.”

Schools in the Stirling Council area will not open until 1000 GMT and there will be no school transport, while staff at the local authority’s offices are being given more time to get to work.

ScotRail has been fitting hot air blowers on trains in a bid to remove snow and ice from undercarriages more quickly, and has brought in extra staff to keep stations and trains clear.

Police are advising people to listen to weather forecasts and check travel websites before they venture out.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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