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Snow brings disruption as Storm Christoph visits north

Snow on the A9 at Slochd has made passage difficult for larger vehicles

Motorists are battling heavy snow in the north as Storm Christoph moves in.

On the A9 Inverness to Perth route earlier today, heavy goods vehicles struggled to pass safely at Slochd as snow showers made driving conditions difficult.

A thick covering of snow made conditions tricky for heavy goods drivers

Police were even called and some motorists assisted others who found themselves stuck as snow and ice wreaked havoc.

Trains services have also been disrupted, with a 5mph railway speed limit implemented on the line between Fearns and Tain on the Far North Line due to a landslip.

A Network Rail engineer walks the Tain to Fearn section of the far north line following a landslip which caused its closure for a time. Picture by Sandy McCook

A tree that was blocking the Carrbridge-Inverness track, leading some services to Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street to be delayed, has been removed.

Adverse weather came in overnight as weather warnings were issued for blizzard-like conditions for much of the north and north-east, as heavy snow and high winds were forecast.

Motorists came together to help each other on the snowy and icy surface

Snow is still expected to impact much of the region with weather warnings in place into Friday.

A yellow warning of heavy rain for parts of Grampian, the Highlands and Orkney and Shetland is in force until noon on Friday, with a warning of ice in place for much of the west coast, including parts of the Highlands, Skye and the Western Isles.

Snow and ice are still to be expected in the central Highlands, as well as in Moray and parts of Aberdeenshire.

Meanwhile, Sepa has a regional flood alert out until 2pm for coastal communities, particularly along the Buchan coastline.

A spokesman said: “This could result in overflowing of small watercourses and surface water, leading to property flooding and essential travel disruption.

“Most at risk are northern-facing coastal communities, especially along the Buchan coastline. Strong winds will also cause coastal spray and wave overtopping around the coast from Shetland to Aberdeen.”

Earlier today, police also closed the snow gates at Cock Bridge and Tomintoul as a safety precaution following an early flurry of snow.

Some schools in the Highlands and Moray, which are currently only open to the children of key workers, were also closed due to the bad weather and severe road conditions.

Snow gates closed on A939 due to adverse weather

Authorities have reminded people they should only travel for essential reasons under current coronavirus restrictions, and to take care if they do have to go out.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is telling us that Storm Christoph is likely to bring another period of challenging weather to parts of Scotland over the next few days, particularly in the north and north-east of Scotland.

“The current Covid restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose, so please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off.

“The forecast snow has potential to cause difficult driving conditions and disruption to the wider transport network, so if you have to make an essential journey during the warning period it’s important you plan your journey, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.”

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