Ice and not so easy

Icy conditions in Newton Mearns
Icy conditions in Newton Mearns

SCOTLAND faced further disruption this week with icy conditions and snow following last week’s storms and subsequent flooding.

Glasgow was first hit with snow on Sunday night, causing problems for commuters on Monday and Tuesday, with ice leaving treacherous conditions underfoot and on busy roads.

Southside trains were affected throughout Tuesday, with services between Glasgow Central and Newton subject to delays and cancellations, terminating at Kings Park without calling at Croftfoot, Burnside or Kirkhill on route.

Although mild compared to last year’s big freeze, Glasgow city council commented that its gritting fleet “worked continuously” throughout the days and nights to tackle the ice.

By Monday morning, more than 350 personnel were involved in snow clearing on priority and secondary roads as well as footpaths, and filling the city’s 1,000 grit bins from a stockpiled 22,000 tonnes.

That figure was based on last year’s usage – 20,000 tonnes of salt – rolled out by the authority’s 26 gritters as well as winter-adapted vehicles.

A GCC spokesman commented: “Drawing on lessons learned from the events of the last two severe winters, the council has come up with a new treatment priority list when it comes to what and where gets salted and gritted.

“Priority one activities include gritting the road network, major pedestrian precincts, routes from fire and police stations, hospitals and bus depots, city centre footpaths, shopping centres outside the city centre, routes to schools and steep hills.

“Priority two activities are treatment of the ground at local shopping areas, health centres, day care centres, libraries, places of worship and main paths through parks”.

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire council confirmed a similar operation in the area, with a total of 62 staff working over 24 hours to shift the snow.

The authority also enlisted the help of two farm tractors to supplement its 10 gritters, making use of 5,000 tonnes of stock at Carnwadric Road depot – a further 4,000 tonnes has been stored elsewhere as contingency stock.

Nationwide, Transport Scotland activated the full Multi-Agency Response Team – a collaborative effort between rail and road authorities and police, in a bid to avoid last year’s traffic issues.

However, forecasts show severe weather easing off this week, with just one prediction of light snow for tomorrow and temperatures of up to 10 degrees today.