Met Office issues snow warning for northern Scotland

Alness River in Ross-shire, photographed by Mike Haughey at the end of last month
Image caption The Met Office said December was the coldest month on record

Warnings of heavy snow have been issued for northern parts of Scotland, with Grampian's roads also affected by ice.

The Met Office said the Highlands, Western Isles, and Orkney and Shetland could be the worst affected on Thursday.

There was said to be a possibility of 10cm of snow in places, particularly over higher ground.

And Grampian Police reported icy conditions across the force area and urged motorists to take extra care.

The warning comes after icy conditions caused chaos on Scotland's roads on Wednesday, as thousands of people made their way back to work after the festive break.

Part of the M8 was closed for more than three hours because of a seven-vehicle crash on the main route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Four people, including an elderly man with head injuries, were taken by ambulance to hospital from the scene of the collision, near Shotts in North Lanarkshire.

Five vehicles were also involved in two separate crashes on the M9 between junction 8 and junction 9 on Wednesday.

One trapped man was freed by Central Scotland Fire and Rescue, while all the other victims escaped with minor injuries.

A marked police car, parked in front of the crash scenes, was badly damaged by another car which lost control and hit the vehicle. No officers were inside the car at the time.

The Scottish government reopened its multi-agency transport resilience operation to deal with problems caused by the cold weather.

The team, based in Traffic Scotland's control centre in Glasgow, was set up last month after the onset of severe weather which saw the coldest December in parts of Scotland since records began in 1910.

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