Public advised not to travel today

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The public are being urged not to travel throughout Thursday in the areas affected by red and amber weather warnings for snow.

A red warning in place across most of central Scotland, including Midlothian, is due to expire at 10am today. However, the highest level amber warning remains in place across many areas meaning disruption is inevitable. Road conditions will continue to be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous throughout the day.

Rail and bus services will also be subject to significant cancellations through the morning peak and into the afternoon, while schools and most council facilities in Midlothian remain closed today.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport, said: “The travel advice in the affected areas today could not be clearer – do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.

“Even after the red warning is lifted, large parts of Scotland will still be subject to high level amber weather warnings for snow. This should not be underestimated. An amber warning means there is a real possibility that vehicles and drivers will become stranded – something that we have already seen happen during this period of snow.

“I strongly urge people to adhere to police advice by avoiding travel in areas with red and amber warnings. I also encourage employers to be as flexible as possible with their staff, allowing them to stay safe and avoid travel.”

Meanwhile, NHS staff have been thanked for coming into work despite the adverse weather yesterday.

Jacquie Campbell, chief officer of acute services, NHS Lothian, said: “We couldn’t function without all of our super staff and I would like to thank all of those who went above and beyond to come to work in such difficult conditions.

“It was a very busy day in NHS Lothian, which has been made more difficult by the extreme weather. However we have tried to make it business as normal for our patients and staff.

“Our daytime outpatient clinics ran as normally and most of our scheduled procedures went ahead as planned. Unfortunately, we did have to defer around 10 elective procedures across our sites and we took the decision to postpone evening outpatient clinics to protect patient and staff safety.

“We are expecting to work on the same basis today, but we are urging staff and patients to be safe and sensible about going to work and appointments and we are asking them to liaise with clinics and colleagues ahead of time if they are experiencing difficulties.”