Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Motorists stranded in heavy snow in Scotland

Traffic on the A9 at The Mound south of Golspie
Traffic is held back by police on the A9 to allow gritters to pass

More than 80 motorists were stuck overnight in Aberdeenshire as heavy snow continues to affect large parts of Scotland.

The drivers became stranded east of Macduff and on the A96 between Keith and Fochabers.

Numerous roads in Aberdeenshire are closed and more than 100 schools in the Grampian area are shut, along with dozens in the Highlands.

Sections of three trunk roads - A9, A82 and A96 - have been closed by snow.

The A9 Perth to Dunblane road has been closed in both directions.

Police said this was due to two accidents, a jack-knifed lorry and fallen power cables.

Our forecasters are predicting persistent spells of heavy snow during Wednesday and Thursday
Met Office spokesman

The snow gates on the A9 at Drumochter and A82 at Glencoe were shut. The A96 was closed at Huntly.

Auchterarder in Perthshire has had two feet of snow and many roads are affected in Perth and Kinross. Police are advising drivers not to travel unless necessary.

Disruption has also been caused further south with parts of south Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde suffering heavy snow.

The Met Office said snow could reach depths of 25cm on high ground.

Drivers have been urged by police to take extra care with the A90 from Laurencekirk to Stonehaven, the A96 between Colpy and Huntly and the A98 Banff to Fraserburgh particularly bad.

In Aberdeen there are also problems with flooding on city routes as snow turns to rain.

A total of 112 schools in Aberdeenshire have been closed, along with nine in Moray and some in Aberdeen.

Almost 90 schools in the Highlands announced they were closing.

The threat of snow decreases during Friday and through much the weekend, with drier conditions and widespread overnight frosts
Met Office spokesman

And almost 70 schools have been shut in Tayside and Central Scotland.

A number of roads have also been closed in the Highlands, including the A939 Grantown to Dava, A835 Aultguish to Ullapool and the A889 Laggan to Dalwhinnie road.

Police said the conditions had caused a lorry to jack-knife on the M876, closing a section of the road near Denny.

ScotRail services between Aberdeen and Inverness have been affected with trains unable to run between Inverurie and Keith.

Ferry sailings between Stornoway and Ullapool have also been cancelled because of the bad weather.

CairnGorm Mountain ski resort was closed. On its website, staff said the centre was "storm-bound".

Two walkers were airlifted by RAF helicopter from Glen Nevis after getting into difficulty. Emergency services were alerted at about 1045 GMT and the pair were taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for medical checks.

Meanwhile, two climbers died in an avalanche in Glencoe in the Highlands.

Rescue teams were scrambled to Curved Ridge, on the north-east face of Buchaille Etive Mor at about 1645 GMT on Tuesday, but the bodies of two men were found near the bottom of the mountain.

It follows earlier warnings of avalanche danger in the area, and a major incident involving a climber on Ben Nevis at about 1030 GMT.

'Extra care'

A Met Office spokesman said: "The threat of snow decreases during Friday and through much the weekend, with drier conditions and widespread overnight frosts."

Neil Gillies, from Highland Council, said snow had been expected but it had arrived earlier than the forecast had indicated.

"Motorists are advised to be aware of the forecast, to drive with extra care and to heed the advice given by the police over road conditions," he said.

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SEE ALSO
Walker badly injured on Ben Nevis
24 Feb 10 |  Highlands and Islands
Schools closed after heavy snow
24 Feb 10 |  North East/N Isles
Runway reopens after snow closure
24 Feb 10 |  Highlands and Islands
Five injured in A9 gritter crash
24 Feb 10 |  Tayside and Central

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Sky News Snow Leaves Thousands Without Power - 9 hrs ago
Times Online Perthshire homes in the dark as snow brings down power cables - 9 hrs ago
The Scotsman Two seriously injured in A9 crash as wintry weather returns to Scotland - 47 hrs ago


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