Snow joke for Midlothian commuters

Heavy snow brings traffic at a standstill on Edinburgh Road, Penicuik. Photo by Alan Wilson

Heavy snow brings traffic at a standstill on Edinburgh Road, Penicuik. Photo by Alan Wilson

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Midlothian Council has thanked motorists for their patience after heavy snowfall brought chaos to the road network last night (Thursday).

Heavy rain during the afternoon turned to sleet and then snow as darkness fell and commuters returned home.

Social media reported difficulties on the A7, A68, A701 and A702. Bus services were disrupted with vehicles unable to reach some communities.

Brian Laurence tweeted: “mid Lothian council ready for winter on our roads, what a joke spend our money on this service and not on silly food bins”

Lee added: “it’s terrible. 3 hour tail backs.”

Peter Heath, from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, tweeted: “Snow on roads in the Midlothian area making difficult driving. Roads very busy and SFRS crews working very hard in difficult circumstances.”

Mel Spence joined in: “Typhoons & Hurricanes I have taken in my stride, 2 inches of snow & Midlothian comes to a fecking halt”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “Treatment decisions are based on Met Office forecasts. The forecast was for rain, possibly falling as sleet or snow on areas above 300 metres, and as such we deployed our routine gritting vehicle from late afternoon to spot treat any areas of concern trough the night.

“It became clear from visual observations around 5.30pm that in areas above 200 metres the rain was turning to snow and we then called out our full complement of gritters which were treating the network from 6pm onwards.

“Unfortunately, as a result of accidents on the main routes through Midlothian including the A68 (maintained by Amey), and the presence of parked, stationary and abandoned vehicles, this hampered gritting operations and it was around 10pm before our priority routes were passable, by which time over 6cms of snow had fallen.

“We do realise driving conditions were very difficult last night and we thank motorists for their patience while our gritters got to work.”