Scotland worst off as fresh snow chaos hits thousands

Image caption,
Police have closed a number of roads in central Edinburgh because of heavy snow

Fresh snow and icy conditions are bringing further disruption to many parts of the UK.

Scotland has been bearing the brunt of the weather chaos, with thousands of drivers stranded in snow-bound traffic across the centre of the country.

The Met Office also has warnings in place for heavy snow in Northern Ireland and north-east England.

In Northern Ireland, Belfast International Airport and Derry City Airport are closed.

Police say up to 500 cars were stranded on the M80 at Castlecary at height of disruption in Scotland.

Lothian and Borders Police, meanwhile, have urged drivers not to venture out after two HGVs jack-knifed causing massive tailbacks on the M8 near Coatbridge.

And in South Lanarkshire, dozens of pupils and staff have been forced to spend the night at a school after being trapped by the weather conditions.

The warnings for heavy snow in Scotland concern Orkney and Shetland, Highlands and Eilean Siar (Western Isles council), Strathclyde, Central, Tayside and Fife, South-west Scotland, Lothian and Borders.

Drivers are also being warned to take care over icy roads in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Met Office said there was between 10cm (4in) and 40cm of lying snow in the central lowlands, about 32cm in Edinburgh and 11cm in Glasgow.

The most significant early snowfall since the early 1990s caused widespread disruption across the UK last week, with airports, roads and schools closed, and trains cancelled.

At least nine people have died in weather-related incidents.

The most recent weather-related death was that of Peter Andrews, 64, who was discovered in Darlington, County Durham, at 1125 GMT on Sunday.

A Durham police spokesman said it appeared he had died while shovelling snow outside his home.

An elderly man was also found dead in the snow on Sunday morning at a Cleethorpes caravan park, although it is not yet known how he died.

The body of the 75-year-old was discovered by security staff at Thorpe Park in Humberston near Pleasure Island.

Over the weekend, some areas enjoyed a brief respite, with temperatures rising to a comparatively warm 7.7C (46F) in Chivenor, north Devon.

But that reprieve has ended, with temperatures on Sunday night dropping as low as -18C (-1F) in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire.

BBC weather forecaster Simon King said there could be as much as 5-10cm of snow in Northern Ireland.

"It will be another very, very cold night across the UK, with temperatures falling across the UK. We could see as low as -15 in Wales."

Forecasters said temperatures would begin to return to their normal levels by the weekend.

Met Office warnings for ice and snow remain in place until Wednesday for Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and the Midlands, and north and west Wales.

Delivery backlog

Travel disruption in also continuing across parts of the UK. It includes:

  • London City Airport: flights suspended because of fog
  • Cardiff Airport: flights suspended because of fog and in-bound flights from Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh affected by de-icing issues
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport: most flights cancelled or diverted since 1700 GMT on Sunday because of fog
  • Belfast's George Best City Airport: delays and cancellations
  • Glasgow Airport: reopened but flights face severe disruption
  • East Coast rail line between London and Edinburgh: still running a reduced service
  • Some Northern Rail services in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire cancelled: lines affected are those between Cleethorpes and Barton on Humber, Doncaster and Adwick, Knottingley and Goole and Morpeth and Chathill
  • Buses replacing trains between Dundee and Edinburgh, and Perth and Edinburgh
  • Blizzard conditions on the A9 between Perth and Dunblane, with the road down to one lane in places
  • M80: closed at Stirling southbound with queuing traffic and long delays
  • M9 at Stirling: closed and stationary traffic southbound between J11, A9 (Dunblane) and J10, A84 (Craigforth), because of an overturned car
  • M876 at Falkirk: closed, with queuing traffic southbound between M9 J8, Hill Of Kinnaird and M80 J5
  • M8: gridlocked through the centre of Glasgow, causing jams throughout the city

The AA said it had attended more than 16,000 breakdowns by 1500 GMT, with calls coming in at roughly double the usual rate, at just under 3,000 per hour.

By the end of Monday it expects to have attended 24,000 call-outs, which will make it one of its busiest days on record. This compares with about 10,500 on a normal Monday.

In Scotland, many schools decided to close early because of the deteriorating weather conditions.

Schools in Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire were closed because of the heavy snow.

There are also some school closures confirmed in several counties in Wales, including Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wrexham and Caerphilly county.

On Saturday, the government announced that it had relaxed restrictions on hauliers' working hours in order to ease the backlog in deliveries caused by the snow.

Around the BBC

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.