Amber warning for snow
Travellers are being warned to expect significant disruption to the transport network later this week, after the Met Office issued an amber warning for snow.
The amber warning, lasting from the early hours of Wednesday through to around 9pm that night, covers much of the Lothians & Borders (and through to Harthill on the M8), Forth Valley, Fife, Tayside, Grampian and the eastern Highlands. A yellow warning for snow for most of mainland Scotland will be in place from early Tuesday morning through to Wednesday night.
The forecast conditions mean that Police Scotland are advising of a high risk of disruption on the trunk road network. The challenging conditions may eventually lead to requests for people to avoid travel, particularly during the amber warning period. Congestion caused by vehicles may restrict emergency, recovery or winter maintenance vehicles from providing essential assistance or from clearing roads. Drivers of HGVs should drive with extreme caution and be aware that you may be requested to park at a suitable position by the police.
The Multi Agency Response Team (MART) will be operational from Tuesday morning to monitor conditions. The Deputy First Minister has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Team (SGoRR) to ensure preparations are in place to deal with the potential impact of the amber warning across all sectors.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf also took part in the meeting and is urging people to consider changing their travel plans:
“The weather warnings from the Met Office mean that we’re facing an acute weather challenge over the coming days. We’re likely to see significant disruption to the transport network, particularly in the areas affected by the amber warning.
“Whilst the worst of the weather is predicted to impact the east of Scotland, the rest of the country is also likely to face wintry conditions, so I’d ask travellers to consider if they need to make their journeys during the amber warning periods. If you do choose to travel during those times, you are very likely to face delays and disruption.
“The Trunk Road Operating Companies have their winter maintenance fleets working around the clock at this time, treating the roads and standing ready to assist motorists if required. We have more gritters available this year than ever before and there is plenty of salt available.
“You can use the Traffic Scotland mobile website - my.trafficscotland.org - or the @trafficscotland twitter page to access the most up to date travel information and to check if your route is affected.
“It’s inevitable that these conditions will also impact on other modes of transport, so if you’re planning to travel by rail, ferry or plane, you should check ahead with the operator to find out if your service has been affected.”
Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, head of Road Policing at Police Scotland said:
"With the wintery weather on its way, I would urge drivers across Scotland to start to take extra care on the roads for their journeys this afternoon and into Monday's rush hour. Snow is already falling in some areas, and drivers should make sure they are prepared for their journey with warm clothing, food and drink, sufficient fuel and a charged mobile phone.
"Into Tuesday morning we are expecting a high risk of disruption to travel across the country, in line with the yellow weather warning from the Met Office. There could be significant traffic delays so please start to plan your journey now and consider if you really need to travel when conditions are poor.
"The amber weather warning on Wednesday morning will prove particularly challenging and we will continue to give advice on social media and via radio stations so please tune in and follow @PoliceScotland, @MetOffice and @TrafficScotland for the latest updates."