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Forbes McFall reports
"Vital community care services have been disrupted by the snow and ice"
 real 56k

BBC Scotland's Eleanor Bradford reports
"Temperatures dropped to -13C at Glasgow Airport"
 real 56k

BBC Scotland's Gillian Sharpe reports
"The north and east of the country should expect fresh snow falls"
 real 28k

ScotRail's John Yellowlees
"Don't travel unless your journey is absolutely necessary"
 real 28k

Friday, 29 December, 2000, 18:04 GMT
Hogmanay freeze warning
Traffic, ice
Traffic continues to be disrupted because of the snow
Weather experts are warning that freezing temperatures will continue during the holiday weekend in Scotland.

People heading out for Hogmanay celebrations are being warned to take precautions against the extreme cold.

The temperature at Glasgow Airport reached -13C overnight on Thursday and it is expected to remain bitterly cold for the next 48 hours.

Postal services continue to be hit and rail and bus services are being restricted.

Partygoers heading for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations have been urged to dress for the conditions and avoid drinking too much.

Snow clearance
People have been out clearing the snow
David Strang, Assistant Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "It looks as if this Hogmanay is going to be a really cold one. We want people to enjoy themselves and be safe."

Joe Aitken, events manager for Glasgow City Council's Cultural and Leisure Services Department, said safe rather than stylish clothing should be worn.

"To keep out the worst of the elements, we strongly recommend fleecy jackets, warm leggings or trousers, cosy hats and gloves and practical shoes," he said.

All major road routes in Scotland are now open but compacted snow is still affecting side roads.

The country's social work departments are urging householders to check on their elderly neighbours.

'Massive disruption'

Renfrewshire Council said its community care services were being badly affected and it would appreciate help from the public.

And Scotland's water companies have reissued guidance on preventing burst and frozen water pipes.

They say people going away for Hogmanay should ensure that there is a minimum level of heating in their homes.

A brave golfer makes it onto a Fife course
Fresh snow is predicted for the north and east of the country later on Friday.

ScotRail advised passengers not to travel on Friday, warning that services in west and central Scotland are subject to "massive disruption."

ScotRail spokesman John Yellowlees said: "Things today are significantly worse than yesterday, particularly in west central Scotland.

"Despite our best efforts many of our trains have unfortunately become affected by very severe frost.

"As a result only a very limited service is operating at the moment, especially on the Glasgow north electrics and Ayrshire routes."

There have also been delays and cancellations to Virgin trains, while GNER says travellers should check whether their train is running.

Matches postponed

After being forced to close on Thursday, both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports were reported to be operating more or less normally on Friday morning.

The weather has also hit the weekend's football card, with a number of league matches postponed - including Aberdeen v St Mirren and Celtic v Motherwell.

The other casualties so far are: Alloa v Livingston, Clyde v Morton, Raith Rovers v Inverness Caley Thistle and Ross County v Airdrie in Division One; Forfar v Stenhousemuir and Stranraer v Arbroath in Division Two; and Albion Rovers v Dumbarton, Cowdenbeath v Elgin City, East Stirling v Hamilton and Montrose v East Fife in Division Three.

George Square
New Year revellers are being urged to wear warm clothes
Scotland's two major cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, were gridlocked on Thursday following a night of snow storms which covered the country, up to 15 inches deep.

In Aberdeenshire, where more heavy snow is expected during the day, the B974 Banchory to Fettercairn road was closed, as was the A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul road.

Police in central Scotland have warned drivers not to use the A811 in the Arprior area after a burst water main created a section of ice.

It is feared power supplies may be disrupted if cables buckle under the weight of frozen snow.

Worst temperatures

The west and south west of Scotland have experienced the worst temperatures and snow depths for five years.

Glasgow City Council has pledged that staff will continue to work around the clock to ease road and footpath problems.

Some 1,800 employees, using more than 80 council vehicles, including gritters and snowploughs, have been called in from their festive break.

Meanwhile, charities have called on the Scottish Executive to act now to ensure people do not freeze to death during the cold weather.

Shelter Scotland claims 178,000 people in Scotland - more than 8% of the population - live in "extreme fuel poverty", needing to spend at least a fifth of their household income on keeping warm.

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28 Dec 00 | Scotland
Snow causes havoc for Scots
27 Dec 00 | Scotland
Heavy snow hits Scotland
26 Dec 00 | Scotland
Snowfall catches bookies cold
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