Icy conditions claim life of another driver

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DRIVERS have been warned to take precautions against icy conditions on the roads as the winter weather claimed the life of another driver.

A 43-year-old lorry driver was killed after his HGV jack-knifed on the M73 in Glasgow, at junction two southbound at the Baillieston Interchange yesterday.

The chilly weather yesterday brought disruption to roads across Scotland and forced some schools to close after heavy overnight snowfall hit the Highlands, Lanarkshire, Central Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeenshire.

Edinburgh today was icy as local forecasters predicted snow flurries and temperatures of one degree.

The weather has led bookies to slash the odds on a white Christmas, from 4/1 to just 9/4 in the Capital and Glasgow.

The M74 in South Lanarkshire and the A74 in Dumfries and Galloway were both reduced to one lane southbound after lorries jackknifed.

Stornoway Airport was closed leading to flight delays.

There was also snow across the north of England, believed to have led to the death of a lorry driver on the A160 in north Lincolnshire who lost control of his white Scania vehicle at about 4.14am today.

A spokeswoman for Humberside Police said road conditions in the area were quite poor at the time due to cold weather and hailstones.

Wintry conditions were forecast to affect the same areas of the country today, bringing with them the likelihood of icy conditions on the road.

Victoria Kettley, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “Wintry showers in parts of Scotland, north-east Wales and the north of England moving eastwards towards the Pennines mean that icy conditions are likely. We expect 2cm to 5cm of snow in many places in Scotland overnight, reaching up to 10cm on higher ground.”

The Met Office has issued severe weather alerts for all parts of Scotland, Yorkshire and Humber, the West and East Midlands, the North West and the North East of England, and Northern Ireland.

Preparations to carry out gritting were ready in almost all areas of the country overnight, a spokesman for the Highways Agency said.

On Wednesday Scotland will have 24 hours of respite before being hit by 80mph winds on Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow is the only day without a severe weather warning.

He added: “We advise drivers to plan their journey by checking forecasts and traffic updates before they travel. They should also allow extra time for their journeys in extreme conditions and consider whether their journey is essential.”