Police Scotland urge caution on the roads amid weather warnings

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Motorists have been urged to exercise caution on the roads amid warnings of snow and ice in parts of Scotland.

Ferry passengers are also being alerted to disruption to west coast services as forecasters predict strong winds.

The Met Office has issued a series of yellow weather warnings for snow, ice and high winds.

Up to 15cm (6in) of fresh snow is expected on higher ground in the north of Scotland while wind gusts could reach 55mph on the west coast.

On Sunday morning, Traffic Scotland said the A1 in East Linton was experiencing high winds and urged drivers to drive with caution.

High winds were also affecting the Dornoch and Skye bridges with care being advised.

Snow gates were closed both ways on the A939 between Cock Bridge and Tomintoul, northbound on the A93 at Spittal of Glenshee and southbound on the A93 at Braemar.

'Prepare for the conditions'

During the afternoon mountain rescue teams braved "appalling" conditions in a bid to rescue an injured climber.

Police said the wintry weather could affect driving conditions right through until Monday morning's rush hour.

Insp David Hynd said: "Police Scotland is advising all drivers to exercise extra caution throughout the Highland and Islands, Moray, Aberdeenshire and northern areas of Tayside as conditions may be hazardous due to snow and ice.

"There is also the potential for high winds around coastal areas and exposed routes particularly in the north east of the country.

"If you are travelling, you should ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours.

"Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes."

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Ferry operator CalMac cancelled a number of sailings on Sunday morning, ahead of the predicted high winds.

Cancellations included the services between Ardrossan and Brodick, Skye on Sunday morning.

They warned passengers that other services could be liable to disruption or cancellation.

P&O also cancelled their sailings between Cairnryan and Larne on Saturday evening due to adverse weather.

And the firm advised passengers on the Irish Sea route to postpone any non-essential travel on Sunday, as it cancelled further sailings.

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The Met Office's yellow warning for snow and ice in parts of the Highlands, Moray, Western Isles and Aberdeenshire is in force until 12:00 on Sunday.

It said: "Strong northerly winds will lead to blizzard conditions and drifting over high ground, where 10-15cm (4-6in) of fresh snow may accumulate.

"At lower levels, 2-5cm (1-2in) is possible, mainly inland and above 100m (330ft)."

The forecaster's wind warning affects north-west England and northern Ireland but strong winds will also affect parts of Scotland.

A separate warning for ice is in force from 01:00 to 11:00 on Sunday for parts of south-west Scotland, the Borders and Strathclyde.

They said ice was likely to form on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths, making for slower journeys and increasing the likliehood of accidents.

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