Travel warning as Scotland's freeze continues

  • 20 December 2010
  • From the section Scotland
A car in Edinburgh as snow and icy conditions hit central Scotland
Image caption Snow, ice and freezing fog are all causing problems on the roads

People in Scotland are being urged to plan their journeys carefully as the snow and ice continue.

Airports have reopened but the knock-on effects of earlier UK-wide closures are causing delays and cancellations.

With more snow forecast for the north east, Highlands and Northern Isles, Transport Minister Keith Brown said people should heed police warnings.

Over the weekend, more than 1,500 vehicles were in operation across Scotland gritting and clearing roads.

Most councils opened their schools on Monday morning, but there were extensive closures in the Aberdeenshire, Moray and Orkney areas.

Mr Brown said measures to address "pinch points" on the transport network had been put in place, including the provision of grit supplies at key locations.

On the trains, services in the north east and east coast are being subject to delays and cancellations.

A spokesperson said customers should log on to ScotRail's website or the journey check page for specific details before setting off.

On Sunday, Edinburgh Airport closed at 1030 GMT, reopened only for departures at 1430 GMT and later began taking inbound flights.

Several hundred passengers had been stranded at the airport overnight on Saturday after a flight was diverted from Heathrow.

A spokesman said passengers should check with their airline before travelling to the airport as only they could confirm whether flights would be operating.

Glasgow said most flights were operating, however some airlines were experiencing cancellations or delays due to snow elsewhere.

About 300 people stayed at the airport on Saturday night after being diverted from other airports. A spokesman said beds and blankets were provided by airport staff and the Red Cross.

Planes diverted to Glasgow included flights from Dubai, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The runway at Aberdeen Airport had to be cleared following early morning snowfalls and reopened after midday on Sunday. However, the airport suspended operations again for an hour at 1430 GMT.

Extreme weather

Passengers were also warned of knock-on problems from weather problems at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Highlands and islands airports are all open but snow and ice continues to cause delays and cancellations to some flights.

Snow, ice and freezing fog are all causing problems on the roads, with the worst conditions in the east. Police are again advising drivers to take care if they need to travel.

Mr Brown, appointed transport minister following the resignation of Stewart Stevenson, said government action meant main roads could be more easily cleared and gritted, should more extreme weather hit Scotland, while stranded motorists would get more support.

"There's no question, there's a great deal of pressure, because many people's livelihoods, and their ability to get round the country to do the things they want to do, depends on what we do," Mr Brown told BBC Scotland's Politics Show.

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