Police urge employers to let staff work ‘flexibly’ amid extreme weather
A further Scottish Government Resilience Room meeting has been held, with the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Transport Minister attending.
Police in Scotland have urged employers to be “flexible” with staff as extreme weather continues to cause major disruption to travel routes.
An estimated 1,000 vehicles were stuck on the M80 overnight and road crews were working to free those which were still there on Thursday afternoon.
Drivers reported being stranded for up to 13 hours, with some spending the night in their cars, and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.
Now employers are being urged to allow staff to work “flexibly” to avoid further disruption to routes.
The recovery on M80 been hugely challenging but good progress made this afternoon. Northbound open (though travel advice remains) & approx 10vehicles still stranded Southbound. Confident we'll have them moved shortly.— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) March 1, 2018
Travel advice remains, do not travel unless essential!
Superintendent Helen Harrison said: “We continue to deal with a number of challenging incidents right across the country and the response from our officers, staff and those of our partner agencies has been outstanding.
“Our advice has not changed – avoid travel in the affected areas and keep a close eye on the Met Office updates and from the authorities across Scotland.
“If you can postpone your journey in affected areas until after the amber warning ceases I would urge you to do so.
Our advice is clear - do not travel in the affected areas but if you have travelled and you get into difficulty, stay in your vehicle, call for assistance and wait for help to arrive.— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 1, 2018
“We’d ask employers to continue to allow staff to work flexibly.”
The comments come after Transport Minister Humza Yousaf told Reporting Scotland he would be holding talks with employers after workers became stranded while travelling for work.
Other major roads such as the M74 and the M876 also faced severe disruption.
A red alert for snow had been in place across central parts of Scotland until 10am on Thursday, however an amber alert covers much of the country until the same time on Friday.
The Met Office warned there may be long delays and cancellations on bus, rail and air services and that roads may become blocked by deep snow, with many stranded vehicles and passengers.
Two of Scotland’s busiest airports have been forced to close for the second day running due to severe weather conditions, with others facing major disruption.
Please find the latest statement from Glasgow Airport below. pic.twitter.com/Ll1CDhblEB— Glasgow Airport (@GLA_Airport) March 1, 2018
Glasgow flights have been suspended for the rest of the day after first shutting on Wednesday, while Edinburgh closed all its routes before 4.20pm.
Chris and Vicky Robinson, from Stranraer, got married last weekend and were looking forward to a luxury holiday in the Maldives when heavy snow hit on Wednesday.
Instead of enjoying 30C heat in the Indian Ocean, they spent the night on chairs in Glasgow Airport’s main terminal.
Mrs Robinson said: “There was tears to start with but there’s not much you can do.
“We had the perfect wedding so you can’t ask for everything.”
Stagecoach announced no buses would be serving Edinburgh, Glasgow or Fife, while Citylink stopped running all of its routes on Thursday.
There will be no services for the rest of the evening to Glasgow or Edinburgh. We will review again tomorrow morning at 5 am in which the depots will send out updated tweets.— Stagecoach West Scot (@StagecoachWScot) March 1, 2018
Virgin Trains has shut all its routes to and from Scotland throughout the day, while ScotRail has been running limited services in badly affected areas.
Hundreds of schools were closed for a second day on Thursday as the severe weather continued, including in Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Clackmannanshire.
A number have already announced they will remain shut on Friday, including in East Lothian, West Lothian and Edinburgh.
All schools, nurseries and Early Years Centres will remain closed tomorrow, Friday 2 March: https://t.co/GHwFS6WraI— The City of Edinburgh Council (@Edinburgh_CC) March 1, 2018
Glasgow School of Art has also been closed until Monday.
The extreme weather has seen health boards cancel non-essential operations and outpatient appointments on Thursday and Friday, while NHS 24 has described its operations as being “stretched”.
Our update, including plans for tomorrow. There is still an amber warning in place and it has been extended until tomorrow morning at 10am. pic.twitter.com/zq3c9XdfLi— NHS Lothian (@NHS_Lothian) March 1, 2018
A further Scottish Government Resilience Room meeting has been held, with the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Mr Yousaf all in attendance.