‘Get home early’ weather advice from Police Scotland

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Police Scotland have advised people to return home early in the areas affected by an upgraded weather warning.

They said they expect the worst of the weather to impact from about 15:00.

The Met Office upgraded its weather warning to amber for snow and ice, covering much of Scotland.

The "be prepared" alert is in place for wide parts of the country, including Strathclyde, Central, the Lothians, south west Scotland, Tayside and Fife from 07:00 until 22:00.

Police Scotland earlier increased its travel warning from stage 2 to stage 3, meaning travellers are likely to experience significant delays.

Supt Louise Blakelock said: "As we progress into this afternoon and evening, I would like to remind the public of the ongoing risk of disruption due to the forecast.

"If you travel on the road network in the warning area, you will be disrupted and you will face significant delays.

"With that in mind I would urge the public to think and plan ahead for their return journey home this afternoon.

"If you are able to, please make your homeward journey earlier. If you are an employer, please think carefully about allowing your staff to return home early if possible."

She added: "Please ensure you are checking the most up to date information from Traffic Scotland and the Met Office."

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has warned people to think carefully before setting off.

He said: "If you choose to travel, particularly in the evening peak period, you are likely to face significant delays and disruption.

"Consider if you can make your journey home from work earlier than usual.

"Scottish government officials are contacting business groups to make them aware of this advice, and I'd also ask employers to be flexible and consider letting staff leave early."

A number of schools have been closed in South Lanarkshire, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife and the Highlands.

School transport will be affected in some areas.

South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire councils closed all schools at lunchtime. Schools in Clackmannanshire also shut early.

In the Highland Council area four secondaries, 18 primaries and four nurseries continue to be affected by the wintry weather.

The schools are either closed or have school transport issues meaning pupils from rural areas have not been able to get a bus or taxi to school.

More than 1,700 pupils are involved.

NetworkRail Scotland said it had faced some challenges because of snow.

It said it was preparing to deal with more falls as they arrived in the course of Friday.

ScotRail said it was dealing with weather-related disruption on the West Highland Line at Crianlarich.

Most of Scotland is covered by a yellow Met Office warning for ice.

The Met Office said snow showers will become heavier and more frequent early on Friday and will continue on and off through the day.

Spells of more persistent, heavy snow are likely. There is expected to be a gradual improvement during the late evening.

A guide to travel warnings

Travel conditions are graded at four levels by police and transport officials depending on the severity of the weather.

  • Stage 1: Normal operations – no severe weather.
  • Stage 2: Travel with caution – police advise people that conditions for road travel may be hazardous.
  • Stage 3: High risk of disruption for road journeys – police advise that there is a high risk of disruption for road journeys. Travellers are likely to experience significant delays.
  • Stage 4: Avoid travelling on the roads – journeys should be avoided. Severe delays expected.

What the weather warning colours mean

  • Yellow: Severe weather expected. Yellow means you should plan ahead thinking about possible travel delays, or the disruption of your day-to-day activities.
  • Amber: Be prepared for disruption. There is an increased likelihood of bad weather affecting you, which could potentially disrupt your plans and possibly cause travel delays, road and rail closures, interruption to power and the potential risk to life and property.
  • Red: Extreme weather is expected. Red means you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather. Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely. You must avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.

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