Borders weather update: Police advice is not to travel

Weather conditions have continued to deteriorate throughout the Borders last night, with more heavy snow, high winds and freezing temperatures.

There is no let-up in sight, although a red weather warning which was in place for northern parts of the area is now at amber with the rest of the region, and it will be in place until 6pm tonight (Thursday) for the whole of the Borders. Snow is likely to persist through the rest of the week and weekend, and, potentially, into the early part of next week.

Police Scotland is urging people not to travel in the areas affected by the amber warnings for snow, and Scottish Borders Council’s Emergency Planning Centre remained open throughout the night and continues to operate to manage responses to the impact of the weather.

Here’s a round-up of what is happening with your services.

Winter maintenance

Gritting operations have continued overnight on key routes, and this morning are focused on keeping primary routes open.

Conditions continue to be very challenging, however, with drifting snow in many areas, including on A roads. Again, police advice is to avoid all travel.

Health

Due to the continued weather situation, all outpatient appointments and non-urgent elective procedures scheduled for today and tomorrow at the Borders General Hospital have been postponed. This includes the diabetic retinopathy screening clinic.

You will be contacted directly if your appointment or procedure is considered urgent.

Outpatient clinics at Community Hospitals have also been postponed – all postponed appointments will be rearranged as soon as possible.

Also, the mobile breast screening unit will not be operating in Earlston today or tomorrow.

Schools

All schools in the Borders remain closed today and tomorrow (Friday) due to the impact of the significant snowfall on the area. Support and advice continues to be provided to senior pupils preparing for exams and plans are being developed with the aim of opening secondary schools for senior pupils at least on Monday, however this is weather dependent.

Customer Services

All Customer Services Contact Centres are scheduled to be open today from 10am, apart from Coldstream Library Contact Centre and Selkirk Contact Centre (which is closed on a Thursday anyway). Check www.scotborders.gov.uk/contactcentres for the latest position on opening hours during the severe weather.

Waste collections

All waste collections are suspended today, with staff tasked with assisting with snow clearance.

Public transport

All trains on the Borders Railway are cancelled until further notice, as are all Borders Buses services.

An update on the Borders Buses website this morning read: “Based on advice from Scottish Government, Mett Office and Police Scotland it is highly unlikely we will operate for the remainder of the day.”

Tracey Logan, the council’s chief executive, said: “Throughout the night, we have seen further heavy snow showers, high winds, drifting snow and very cold conditions. This is resulting in extremely hazardous conditions continuing across the Borders and we are still urging people to avoid travel.

“Our winter maintenance team have been working through the night and are continuing to do their utmost to keep primary routes open.

“People must heed the warnings from the police about avoiding travel. That remains the advice right through until 6pm tonight, and is in place due to the risk of becoming stranded.”

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

Anyone able to provide care for family or friends during the severe weather this week is asked to contact the client’s care provider directly, or failing that SB Cares on 01896 662701.

NHS Borders have postponed all outpatient appointments and non-urgent elective procedures scheduled for today (1 March) at the Borders General Hospital. Outpatient clinics at Community Hospitals have also been postponed. Check the NHS Borders website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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