All Scottish motorists have been warned not to drive anywhere unless absolutely necessary after severe snow warnings were issued for much of the country.
Glasgow, Edinburgh and most of central Scotland was given the first ever red warning for snow – the highest alert category which insinuates a risk to life – by the Met Office.
Meanwhile, the highest level amber warning remains in place across many areas meaning disruption is inevitable.
All of this means that road conditions will continue to be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous throughout the day.
The message from Scotland’s transport minister Humza Yousaf was blunt. “The travel advice in the affected areas today could not be clearer,” he said. “Do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.
“Even after the red warning is lifted, large parts of Scotland will still be subject to high level amber weather warnings for snow. This should not be underestimated.”
He added that even an amber warning means there is a real possibility that vehicles and drivers will become stranded – something that was happening during Scotland’s cold snap back in January that forced many motorists to sleep in their cars on motorways overnight.
The transport minister also called for employers to be as flexible as possible with their staff, allowing them to stay safe and avoid travel.
Snowfall could reach up to 40cm in certain spots, the Met Office predicts, while strong easterly winds are expected to lead to significant drifting of lying snow.
Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, added: “This is only the second red warning for snow that the Met Office has issued since 2011 – that speaks volumes on the ferocity of the ‘Beast from the East’.”