Page last updated at 09:36 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

Severe winter blast fears easing

Hills/Pic: Bob Smith
The worst conditions have affected higher areas/Pic: Bob Smith

Drifting snow and blizzard conditions have been affecting high ground but concerns over severe weather have eased across many parts of Scotland.

Forecasters had predicted up to 10 to 20cm (4 to 8in) of snow in some areas and power companies were on stand-by in case of cable problems.

The worst affected areas have been the Borders, South Lanarkshire and the central and southern Highlands.

Motorists have still been urged to take extra care on the roads.

The snow gates have been closed on the A93 and 10 schools in Aberdeenshire were closed or partially closed.

The A9 requires extreme care at the Drumochter pass but the road was open.

Snow on the M74 in South Lanarkshire meant that both carriageways were down to one lane between junctions 14 and 15.

The area which received the most snow was Dumfries and Galloway, where 15cm (5.9in) fell in some places.

It resulted in a total of 16 schools being closed - many in the Annandale and Eskdale area.

The A701 Dumfries to Moffat road was described as "passable with care" at Parkgate while several vehicles were stuck on the B6357 Canonbie to Newcastleton road.

Clear away

But in Aviemore, in the Highlands, where some of the heaviest snowfalls had been predicted, only 2cm (0.7in) had fallen.

Bear Scotland, which manages and maintains the 1,120 miles of trunk roads in the east of Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland, has been treating all routes.

Forecasters said there would be snow throughout the morning, though it may turn to rain at lower levels.

The Grampian area is likely to see snow for most of the day, but in other parts it is likely to clear away during the afternoon.

In Kelso hundreds of residents endured a third night without gas supplies.

Engineers were continuing work to reconnect the remaining 350 out of 3,000 properties affected by the problem.

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