Schools to stay closed on Thursday – more snow expected tonight

A snow plough at Lilliesleaf on Tuesday, January 16.
A snow plough at Lilliesleaf on Tuesday, January 16.

Schools will remain closed tomorrow (Thursday) following an extended amber warning for more snow from 9pm tonight.

On top of widespread heavy snow on Tuesday and overnight, up to 20cm of snow is forecast for parts of the area overnight and into the early hours of Thursday.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said the decision to close schools for a second day was taken following consideration of all options, and in the interest of the safety of pupils, staff, parents and carers.

Partners including Police Scotland were also involved in the decision-making process.

The situation for Friday will be reviewed and discussed during Thursday, when more detailed weather forecasts will be available.

The snow was far more widespread and heavier than had been forecast on Tuesday, with eight inches lying widely across the region this morning.

The emergency planning centre at council headquarters in Newtown St Boswells was open throughout yesterday afternoon and early evening and reopened at 6am this morning.

The spokesman added: “Winter maintenance operations have been ongoing overnight and throughout this morning to keep arterial routes open where possible.

“However, drifting snow and further snow is making this challenging. In some areas crews have managed to start clearing secondary routes.”

Tracey Logan, the council’s chief executive, said: “We are doing our very best to keep main routes open across the Scottish Borders and as a result many minor and side roads will not be cleared until main routes are clear of snow.

“The forecast for today is for some further snow showers, however, overnight tonight into Thursday morning is looking particularly challenging, with up to 20cm of snow forecast across the southern part of the Scottish Borders, including Hawick and Jedburgh, with up to 8cm expected widely.

“Only the very extreme eastern coastal areas will escape snow.

“While some areas of Berwickshire should avoid the worst of the weather, we cannot guarantee safe access to all the schools in this area on Thursday morning, or staff availability when such heavy and widespread snow is expected.

“As a result, we’ve taken the decision now to close all schools tomorrow.

“Due to the prolonged adverse weather, people are asked to check on elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours, assisting wherever possible.

“Anyone able to provide care for family or friends at any point over the next 48hours is asked to contact the client’s care provider directly, or failing that SB Cares on 01896 662701.”