Roads and schools closed as snow blizzards blow in

A Scottish Borders Council snowplough helping traffic on the A697
A Scottish Borders Council snowplough helping traffic on the A697

Three of the region’s main roads were closed for several hours during Tuesday’s snow blizzards.

Across the region, 12 schools were closed, though 40 remained open and 20 partially open, and council meetings were cancelled.

Strong winds of up to 50mph compounded problems, causing snow, which fell to 20cm on higher ground, to drift.

But Lothian and Borders Police said there were no serious accidents or injuries.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) had to appeal to drivers not to ignore road closed signs after vehicles backed up on the A697 road between Carfraemill and Greenlaw.

The road had been shut at 6.30am, but by 8am five lorries and cars had driven past the signs and were stuck in snow drifts. And one BMW driver had spent the night in his car after he became stuck on Monday evening.

The A72 was closed for over two hours after a car and a Royal Mail vehicle collided in the wintry conditions a mile from Clovenfords, between the Nest roundabout and Thornielee, at lunchtime. The car ended up on its roof in a nearby field, but no-one was injured.

Yesterday police said a 53-year-old Peebles man had been charged with careless driving and a report sent to the procurator fiscal.

The A68 was closed at the Carter Bar at 8am after a lorry blocked the main route south of the border, but it was reopened two hours later.

The B6368 at Gilston and B6456 Westruther to Choice Lee road, closed from early morning, had also reopened by 1pm. Yesterday the region’s roads were passable, with the exception of the B7007 Middleton to Garvald, which SBC expected to have clear by the time The Southern went to press.

SBC’s executive committee was cancelled, as was Tuesday evening’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum meeting in Hawick.

Yesterday the council said it expected today’s weather to be cold with a few snow showers.

An SBC spokesman said: “As milder air tries to push up from the south on Friday, there is the potential for some significant snow with strong winds.

The Met Office are monitoring this very carefully. There is the potential for conditions to be much worse than Tuesday on Friday or Saturday.”

SBC’s emergency planning officer, Jim Fraser said: “We are preparing for further disruptive weather on Friday and are making arrangements for this.”