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North-east councils defend response to “tricky” weather conditions

Aberdeenshire's icy roads yesterday, near Durris.
Aberdeenshire's icy roads yesterday, near Durris.

Council chiefs denied being caught off-guard by treacherous road conditions which brought chaos to much of the north-east yesterday.

Rain fell on roads already affected by black ice across Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire, contributing to several crashes yesterday morning.

The Met Office had earlier issued a yellow warning for ice, which was in place until 11am yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the A947 Newmachar to Oldmeldrum road at 6.30am when a car landed on its roof.

Police and fire teams were also called to the A948 Ellon to Auchnagatt road, near Ellon, at 8.55am when a white Vauxhall Insignia and a white Fiat 500 collided.

Elsewhere, a lorry jack-knifed on the A957 Slug Road between Crathes and Stonehaven causing a half mile road-block from the Spurryhillock Junction.

And on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverurie road a car skidded off the carriageway at the junction near Marshall Trailers.

Nobody was injured during any of the incidents.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said the authority’s crews had treated the roads from 3.30pm on Wednesday night and again at 5.30am on Thursday.

She said: “We had three requests from the police, two in Ellon and one on the South Deeside Road between Ardoe House Hotel and Copland Motors. These were direct requests.

“We are going at full capacity, all the gritters are going. We are trying, we really are, but we can’t be everywhere at once.”

A spokesman for Bear Scotland said road surfaces in the north-east were treated between 2am and 10am yesterday, with additional spreaders sent out to the A90 at Muchalls.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said all of its lorry, tractor and footpath gritters were out between 8am on Wednesday and 8am yesterday.

She added: “500 tonnes of salt was distributed. It is a 24-hour operation. Obviously because of the rain late on Wednesday, you can have the effect where the salt washes away.

“We have been out doing everything we can.”

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said the hazardous conditions were caused by erratic weather conditions from Wednesday into Thursday.

He said: “We were seeing rain come down on pretty cold roads and that is why you see these problems, it is because temperatures are coming up a little bit and going down.

“It is very, very tricky when you have get rain falling onto these surfaces.”

The coldest place in the north-east yesterday morning was Aboyne, where the temperature dropped to -6.8C, while Dyce recorded a low of -6C.

This morning the temperature was expected to drop to -3C with some snow showers in west Aberdeenshire and rain forecast for around 9am elsewhere.

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