Heavy snow leaves around 1,000 motorists stranded on M80 overnight

Credit supergenijalac via Thinkstock

Hundreds of motorists spent the night trapped in their cars on the M80 after heavy snow caused widespread disruption to Scotland’s road network.

At the peak of the problems, roughly 1,000 vehicles were stranded in an eight-mile tailback on the motorway between Glasgow and Stirling.

Traffic stuck on the route on Wednesday afternoon started moving again at around 2am on Thursday, but this was only to be temporary relief as vehicles were forced to halt again as around junction nine during the morning rush hour.

Emergency services delivered fuel and water to those stuck on the M80 as rescue workers struggled to clear the tailbacks.

This comes six weeks after severe snow left hundreds of motorists stranded on the M74 near Glasgow.

The motorway was covered by the red weather warning issued earlier that day, which advised people to avoid all ‘but absolutely necessary’ travel.

“We have no idea what's happening”

Graeme Murray was one of the stranded drivers on the M80. He left Aberdeen at 2.45pm to drive his 16-year-old daughter Ella to Glasgow Airport to catch a flight to Dublin for an under-17s netball competition.

Speaking to the Telegraph at around 10pm, the 49-year-old legal commercial director said: "Everything was going well until just after Gleneagles; then we hit the traffic jam at 5.05pm and have been here ever since.

“We have no idea what's happening, we're just getting messages from home. I think we're going to get ready to spend the night here."

Warnings still in place

While conditions have improved in some parts of the country, this may not be the end of it with up to 10cm (or four inches) of snow forecast in parts of Scotland, increasing to 25cm over the area's hills.

Furthermore, the Met Office and Transport Scotland warn that the extreme cold weather is expected to continue over the weekend and into next week.

For now, a yellow ‘be aware’ warning remains in force across much of the country, mainly focused on eastern areas of Scotland.

Superintendent Helen Harrison said the emergency forces will remain on hand to help keep Scotland’s roads moving.

“The snow is not due to stop, and neither will we until we are confident that the risks associated with travelling in the poor conditions have reduced significantly,” she commented.

Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, added: “This winter has been especially challenging and motorists would do well to heed the advice to travel only where absolutely necessary.”