Hundreds of drivers were stranded on the M80 motorway in Scotland overnight as widespread snow caused severe disruption across Britain, including a new high alert for Wales and South West England.
The worst disruption so far occurred Scotland where the Met Office issued a rare ‘do not travel’ red weather warning on Wednesday covering much of the country.
The Telegraph reported that around 1,000 vehicles came to a standstill in an eight-mile tailback on the M80 between Glasgow and Stirling. Traffic stranded on Wednesday afternoon began moving again at around 2am on Thursday, but came soon came to a halt again with drivers stuck again around Junction 9 during the rush hour.
Although the red warning was due to expire on Thursday morning (1 March), the highest level amber warning remains in place across many areas of the country, meaning that disruption is inevitable.
Road conditions in Scotland were predicted to continue to be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous throughout the day, while rail and bus services were expected to be subject to significant cancellations through the morning peak and into the afternoon.
Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf said: ‘The travel advice in the affected areas today could not be clearer – do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.’
Roads and rail services were also disrupted across England and Wales.
On Thursday morning (St David’s Day) the Met office issued a new red warning covering parts of South Wales, Somerset and Devon between 15:00 on Thursday and 02:00 and Friday.
It warned of a spell of heavy snow and blizzard conditions, ‘accompanied by very strong easterly winds leading to severe drifting. Some places could also see significant ice build up due to freezing rain from later on Thursday evening, most likely in the south of the area.
‘Long delays and cancellations of public transport seem highly likely. Some roads are likely to become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers.’
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