Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Snow causes Highlands disruption

Snow in Inverness
Heavy snow falls have been seen in Inverness and across the Highlands

More than 120 schools across the Highlands have been closed because of wintry weather.

Highland Council has listed the closures on the winter watch section of its website.

Inverness Airport was closed until just before 1000 GMT, resulting in delays to arrivals and departures.

Several minor roads have been closed because of snow and ice. Northern Constabulary warned motorists to travel with extreme care.

Richard Guest, head of roads at Highland Council, said further snowfalls had been forecast and staff were working to keep all main routes open.

He said: "We are doing our best with all the resources we have available.

"We have managed to plough all main routes and they are open and passable with care. There are side roads affected by snow and we are working on those now."

High number

The council said it had the newest fleet of gritting vehicles in Scotland having replaced machines over the past four years.

Its fleet includes 114 road gritters and 54 pavement clearing vehicles.

The authority spent £5.9m on dealing with affected roads last winter - £7,000 more than it had budgeted for.

It has allocated £4.9m for this winter.

Northern Constabulary said it has received a high number of calls through the 999 emergency number from people seeking up-to-date information on road conditions.

Seventy-three people called the number in the space of an hour on Sunday, police said.

The force said people should instead go to Traffic Scotland's website or helpline.

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