Blizzard-like conditions leave motorists stranded on M74 overnight

Photo: AGrigorjeva/iStock

Hundreds of motorists were forced to spend the night in their cars after becoming stranded due to blizzard-like conditions and heavy snow in Scotland.

The weather was so severe that Moffat Mountain Rescue Team were asked to check on drivers stuck in their vehicles on the M74, which stretches south-east out of Glasgow.

Parts of the motorway in Lanarkshire were closed by Traffic Scotland in both directions for a number of hours. The authority urged motorists to avoid the southbound stretch especially, with tailbacks of around six miles.

Even transport minister Humza Yousaf felt compelled to use his Twitter account to warn motorists, urging them to “avoid the M74 if you can”.

He added: “Persistent snow has made it a challenging night. Gritters have been clearing the snow as best [as] they can, but it continues to fall heavily. A number of HGVs and cars [are] losing traction.”

One driver stuck on the M74 told the BBC that impatient drivers had been making matters more chaotic.

“There's been a fair bit of impatient driving going on,” he said. “People are in one queue, then people are cutting out and trying to go down lanes that clearly are not for driving on.

“It's not a surprise that you're getting a few hundred yards down the road and you're seeing them facing the wrong way."

Another driver, who was stuck between junctions 11 and 12 of the M74 for more than eight hours said he hadn’t moved for four hours.

“I've managed to get out of my car a couple of times to stretch my legs,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “The snow is probably between four and six inches deep around the cars."

One of the more light-hearted factors to emerge from this latest blast of disruptive weather is the ability to track Traffic Scotland’s road gritters. Members of the public are now able to pinpoint the real-time location of Grittie McVittie and Sir Salter Scott, among others by visiting scotgov.maps.arcgis.com.

Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, added: “Snow in Scotland is not news, but the country has been hit pretty hard this time.”