Amber snow warning
Travellers are being warned to expect significant disruption to journeys, following an upgraded amber warning for snow in Scotland.
The Met Office has upgraded its snow warning to amber for parts of south west Grampian, the southern Highlands, Fife, Tayside, central and southern Scotland, running from 3pm this afternoon to 10am tomorrow. A yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place for most of mainland Scotland throughout Wednesday and Thursday.
Police Scotland is warning of a high risk of disruption, and the current COVID restrictions mean that people should not be making journeys unless they are for an essential purpose.
Potential impacts of the amber warning include long delays and cancellations on bus and rail travel. Roads may be affected by deep snow, particularly over higher routes, and some rural communities might be cut off. Interruptions to power supplies and telephone networks could also occur.
Our operating companies have been undertaking precautionary treatments in advance of the weather warnings. They are closely monitoring the trunk road network, allowing them to pre-deploy resources and carry out dedicated patrols and treatments, as well as providing assistance to motorists, where necessary.
Specialist snow plans have been activated for key routes, such as the M8, M74, M77 and M80, alongside mobilisation of the new red X units to control access to the M80. The Multi-Agency Response Team is also operational for the duration of the weather warnings.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“The Met Office is telling us to expect a period of challenging weather, with an amber warning for snow and most of mainland Scotland facing potential for snowy and icy conditions over the next few days.
“The conditions will likely cause difficult driving conditions and disruption to the wider transport network, so it’s important that anyone that has to make an essential journey during the warning period plans their journey.
“The current COVID restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose, so please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off.
“If you do have to make an essential journey, then you should plan your route in advance, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice. There may be disruption on other modes of transport, so you should check with your operators before setting off.
“Motorists can check with Traffic Scotland to make sure that their route is available. The Traffic Scotland mobile website - my.trafficscotland.org - lets people get the latest information on the move and the Traffic Scotland twitter page is also updated regularly.
“Pedestrians should also be aware that pavements are likely to be affected by ice, so make sure you use the appropriate clothing and footwear if you have to go out for an essential purpose. Preventing slips trips and falls will help to protect the NHS.”
Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said:
"Government guidance on only travelling if your journey is essential remains in place and so with an Amber warning for snow, please consider if your journey really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.
"If your journey really is essential, plan ahead and make sure you and your vehicle are suitably prepared by having sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food, water and charge in your mobile phone in the event you require assistance.
"The Met Office, Traffic Scotland and SEPA websites and social media channels have valuable information about weather disruptions and we would encourage people to check these sites before setting off on their journey."