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BBC Scotland's Eleanor Bradford reports
"It is the coldest winter for five years in Scotland"
 real 56k

BBC Scotland's Martha Fairlie reports
"The roads are open, but it is a case of taking extreme care"
 real 28k

Chief Superintendent Jim Gilmore, Strathclyde Police
"If motorists do not need to undertake a journey I would urge them to stay at home"
 real 28k

Thursday, 28 December, 2000, 14:55 GMT
Snow causes havoc for Scots
Driver clearing her car in Glasgow
One driver clears snow from her car in Glasgow
Heavy snow is causing severe disruption for people travelling in the south and west of Scotland.

Up to 15 inches of snow fell overnight in parts of the country, bringing roads to a standstill.

Two thousand passengers were stranded for several hours when Glasgow Airport was forced to close, although it re-opened on Thursday afternoon.

The conditions have also caused travel problems in Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow, Ayrshire, Argyll and parts of Stirlingshire.

They can see the depth of the problem by simply looking out of the window and seeing a foot of snow

Sandy Ferrar, Glasgow Airport
And weather forecasters are warning that more is on its way, with the wintry conditions expected to last until the weekend.

Glasgow Airport was forced to shut at 0530 GMT on Thursday, bringing frustration for 2000 passengers stranded at the terminal.

The airport reopened at 1415, but it was feared that the disruption would continue.

Individual airlines were making their own decisions on whether or not to fly, and passengers were urged to contact their carriers before setting out for the airport.

Sandy Ferrar, a spokesman for the airport, said staff faced a hard task given the continuous snow falls.

"People are aware of what we are trying to do in keeping the airfield and runways clear - they can see the depth of the problem by simply looking out of the window and seeing a foot of snow," he said.

Driver clearing snow from car
Heavy localised falls left parts of Renfrewshire under 15 inches of snow, while about eight inches have fallen around Callendar and in Glasgow.

Dumfries and Galloway saw up to six inches of snow, and police have advised people not to travel in the area unless it is essential.

Gritters and snowploughs worked through the night to keep roads open.

In Glasgow alone, 45 gritters and 1800 staff are working to keep major routes and footpaths clear.

Chief Superintendent Jim Gilmore of Strathclyde Police said the main roads had been kept reasonably well cleared, although there were problems on side streets.

Boxing Day hunt
The hunting programme has been hit
"If you don't have to drive then don't drive, that's my main piece of advice," he said.

A spokeswoman for the AA said the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire were not badly affected by the snow, with just a few flurries in some areas.

However, Grampian Police has warned drivers in the north-east to take extra care after localised snow falls left some roads in a treacherous condition.

Most of the region has escaped the worst of the winter weather so far, with only the Banchory to Fettercairn road closed.

The snow has also affected rail travel. Virgin is warning of delays on its West Coast Main Line services and the Strathclyde rail network is also subject to disruption.

A ScotRail spokesman said all its services were subject to delays and cancellations in affected areas.

Trains diverted

Frozen points at Rutherglen, near Glasgow, caused the main problem as the heavy snowfall prevented repairs being carried out.

A spokesman for the Post Office said there had been no mail deliveries in Glasgow due to the conditions, as well as restricted services in Motherwell, Paisley, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

The east of Scotland has so far escaped the worst of the weather.

However, forecasters have warned that it should see snow within the next 24 hours as more wintry weather moves in from the east.

They have also predicted that the sub-zero temperatures and hazardous driving conditions which have made it Scotland's coldest winter for five years will last for the rest of the week.

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