Hundreds Stuck On Iced-Up Roads

In Europe, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

Hundreds of drivers have been stranded overnight as the “worst snow and ice since the 1960s” continues to grip Britain.

Scotland has been bearing the brunt of the icy gridlock as temperatures as low as -18C and a foot of fresh snow make major routes impassable.

The M8 westbound between Glasgow and Edinburgh was particularly badly hit, while an estimated 500 vehicles were stuck on the M80, M74 and A80.

Abandoned cars have created further problems as police struggle to get the roads moving again.

Motorists have been told to travel only if it is essential, as gritting has not had a “significant impact” on the ice due to the extreme cold.

Sky News Scotland correspondent James Matthews said cars were not being allowed on the M8 at the Edinburgh end this morning.

“The plan is to clear it before they get moving again. Last night, there were tailbacks of about seven miles and more on that road,” he said.

“The problem was, lorries were jack-knifing so they could not get them restarted. Behind that, the traffic built up to gridlock.

“The situation has been a real desperate logistical exercise for all of those involved.”

Army 4×4 vehicles have been used to help ambulance staff reach stranded people – and the Red Cross has also been assisting.

Stewart Stevenson, the Scottish transport minister, has described the weather conditions as the “worst snow and ice conditions since the 1960s”.

Mustafa Elshani contacted Sky News to say he had been stuck on the M8 near Livingstone for 10 hours.

He said: “Some families are stuck in their cars, some car batteries are running out. People are totally desperate.”

Around 150 people also spent the night in a South Lanarkshire school after the freezing weather prevented pupils, parents and staff from getting home.

Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said the snow was moving southwards into northern England and southeast Ireland.

“There may be a few wintry showers in East Anglia and Kent and there will also be an increase in cloud across the Midlands, Lincolnshire and Wales with some snow in places later,” she said.

Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are open today after closing for some of Monday – but travellers are urged to check with their airlines.

Belfast International and London City Airport have also warned of delays and cancellations.

Train services are disrupted across Scotland – with several services leaving Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness cancelled.

Replacement buses are not running due to the poor road conditions.

At least nine people have so far died during the big freeze.

The latest victim – a man in his 70s – was found dead at the Thorpe Park caravan site in Cleethorphe.

It has been reported he may have lay undiscovered for two days.

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