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Flurry of school closures and gritter overturns as winter weather hampers the north

Icy weather and freezing temperatures caused disruption across the north yesterday with school closures and crashes.

In Appin in the West Highlands, a gritter overturned on the icy A828 Ballachulish to Connel road in the early hours, as workers worked to treat roads before workers got in their cars.

The gritter before it was towed, earlier today.<br />Picture by Kevin McGlynn.

Despite the drama of the 3.30am crash, the driver was uninjured. A police spokeswoman confirmed officers attended after the gritter left the road and tipped over near the Old Inn.

The overturned gritter. Picture by Stewart Gourlay.

The spokeswoman added: “Police attended shortly after 3.30am and placed police tape around the gritter to ensure passing cars were made aware. The driver of the vehicle was taken to hospital as a precaution; however, no serious injuries are believed to have been sustained.”

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A spokeswoman for Bear Scotland said:  “Thankfully, our driver was uninjured though is understandably shaken following the incident.  No other vehicles were involved and we’re carrying out a full investigation to establish what caused the accident.”

Recovery was arranged by the trunk road operator around noon yesterday.

Further east things were slightly more pisturesque, with part of Findhorn Bay freezing over as temperatures dropped to as low as -3c in the area. Sheets of ice, measuring in at around three miles, crashed on the shoreline as the brisk weather took hold of the Moray village.

Gritter driver uninjured after vehicle overturns in sub-zero conditions

Over 1,000 schoolchildren across the Highlands were handed a day off from their textbooks, as 43 schools and nurseries were forced to close due to the wintry conditions.

Broadford Primary and Bun-Sgoil Shleite on Skye delayed opening by approximately one hour to allow gritting of the roads to take place, to ensure the safety of parents and children commuting to school.

A yellow weather warning was also issued yesterday evening by The Met Office, warning residents in the north, north-west, Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland, over potential snowfall and ice with its duration expected to last until 11am today.

Forecasters have also warned residents across the whole of the north to expect snow and ice tonight with early reports indicating road and rail journeys are likely to be affected, with slippery conditions underfoot, as weather moves in during the evening.

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