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Council continues with the work of clearing roads in Aberdeenshire

By David Porter

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After the exceptionally severe weather conditions at the weekend, the work of reopening roads affected by drifting has continued today across Aberdeenshire, helped by an increase in air temperatures.

Gritting crews have been concentrating their efforts on trying to reopen or widen main routes, but this has not always been possible with some sections still remaining impassable, or only passable with extreme care and very narrow in places.

By way of example - this was the eerie ‘moonscape’ an Aberdeenshire Council driver captured on the A97 Huntly to Lumsden Road at 6am on Sunday.

The snow took on a lunar lanscape look near Lumsden on Sunday.
The snow took on a lunar lanscape look near Lumsden on Sunday.

It has also not been possible to open all of the minor roads as yet and operations on these will resume tomorrow and continue over the next couple of days.

A spokesman for the council said: "Please note that many affected roads did not have ‘Road Closed’ signs put in place over the weekend due to the strength of the winds and depth of the snow in places, so please don’t assume that roads are open in the absence of any signing.

"Those planning a journey are therefore still being asked to be patient while snow clearing work is ongoing."

One of the worst affected roads was the A93 Glenshee Road near Newbigging, just south of Braemar where an avalanche affected around 60-100 metres of the road.

Thankfully no-one was on the road at the time as the road has been closed at the snow gates over the last week.

Work is ongoing to clear the debris from the avalanche and the road remains closed.

With road surface temperatures dipping below zero in many areas again tonight, gritters will be out again on many of our primary routes this evening, and crews will resume operations at 5.40am tomorrow morning where necessary.

He continued: "Once again, a big shout-out goes out to all the gritting crews and our fleet services mechanics for their sterling efforts over the last few days in extremely challenging conditions.

"There has also been huge admiration for the response our contractors and the farming community for keeping roads open where possible and coming to the aid of many road users who got into difficulties."

The list of roads which still remain closed due to drifting include: A93 Glenshee (at snow gates), A920 Dufftown – Huntly, A939 Lecht (at snow gates), A939 Gairnshiel - Colnabaichin, A941 Cabrach, B974 Cairn O’Mount (at snow gates), B976 Crathie to Gairnshiel, B992 Fisherford to B9001 jct, B9170 New Deer – Methlick and New Deer – Cuminestown.

Many other roads will be closed, impassable, or only passable with extreme care.

The advice remains unchanged - essential journeys only, stay at home if you can and stay safe.

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