Spate of crashes, schools closed and hundreds of drivers stranded due to snow and ice

© DC Thomson
Traffic negotiating difficult conditions on the A92 at Balfarg.

Freezing winter weather caused a spate of crashes across Courier Country, leading to traffic chaos and the closure of several local schools.

Hundreds of drivers spent the night in their cars when they became stranded on the M74 after heavy snow and ice hit Scotland.

The road was closed on Tuesday evening and motorists are being advised to avoid the area.

The Met Office has issued a further amber warning (be prepared) for snow for southern Scotland between 9pm on Wednesday through to 5am on Thursday.  This warning comes on top of the present yellow warning (be aware) for snow and ice which is currently in place for most of Scotland.

This new amber warning will bring further snow to southern Scotland as was experienced late on Tuesday/early Wednesday, and which caused widespread travel chaos in the area.

And police have warned Scottish motorists to avoid driving on Wednesday evening.

A woman walks a dog through a heavy snow shower along the B718 on January 16, 2018 in Harthill, Scotland.All schools in the Borders are closed due to the bad weather.

Three schools in Perth and Kinross have been affected by the severe weather.

Glenlyon and Kinloch Rannoch primaries are closed to all pupils, while Crieff High School is only open to local children.

Courier Country has already seen a spate of accidents with the A9 Perth to Stirling road closed at Blackford at about 7am due to several vehicles leaving the road. The road was reopened at around 9.10am.

Mountain rescuers called in to help stranded motorists amid heavy snowfall

Elsewhere, police attended a two-vehicle collision on the southbound carriageway of the M90 Inverkeithing to Perth motorway near Milnathort around 7.30am.

© Getty
Motorists travel through a heavy snow shower on the M8.

And a car skidded off the same carriageway around the same time near the Friarton Bridge.

A broken-down vehicle led to delays on the A92 Cowdenbeath to Crossgates road and there are reports of treacherous driving conditions in the Pitreavie area of Dunfermline.

In Kirkcaldy, an Audi ploughed through a garden wall.

And bus services across Courier Country have also been hit by the weather.

Stagecoach East Scotland has warned customers of delays to services in Dunfermline due to “road conditions and traffic queues”.

Services through Perth are also “subject to delays” due to icy conditions, with buses travelling between Spittalfield, Murthly and Perth “unable to serve” the Ballathie-Kinclaven loop

Stagecoach tweeted: “Strathtay have advised that Service SPH034 journeys leaving Spittalfield for Perth at 10.04am and Perth to Murthly at 1.55pm will be unable to serve the Ballathie-Kinclaven loop.

“It will operate direct from Stanley to Murthly using the B9099.”

Elsewhere North Inch Golf Course has been forced to close due to snow.

Many Thanks to Zandra for this snow measurement

Posted by Comrie Perthshire on Wednesday, 17 January 2018

More details to follow.