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News / Ten vehicles fall victim to snowfall

A crashed VW Polo lies in a ditch near the Halfway House after coming off the road on Tuesday evening. Photo Shetland News

AT LEAST nine cars and one school bus fell victim to the snowfall in Shetland on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Gritters with snow ploughs working in the north mainland were clearing up to four inches of snow on Wednesday morning, with falling snow filling up the roads behind them.

The rest of the islands had about one inch of snow overnight, though more is forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Local police reported cars off the road at the Lang Kames near the Halfway House, on the B9076 between Brae and Mossbank, and in Quoys Road, Lerwick.

Jim’s Garage were recovering a further six cars which had left the road between Maywick in the south and Ollaberry in the north.

Meanwhile a local crofter had to rescue a school bus that slipped off the road at Michaleswoodf, in Aith, as it was on its way to pick up pupils to take them to the Anderson High School around 8am.

No reports of injury have been received about any of the accidents.

Andrew Dix, senior recovery operator with Jim’s Garage, said that it was not unusual to have so many recoveries in such weather conditions.

“We can normally guarantee the next day will be busy after a fall of snow,” he said.

Shetland Islands Council has been busy gritting all of the islands’ roads, including the small side roads.

Last year there was an outcry when the small roads were left untreated after a heavy frost due to the council’s new budget strategy.

Neil Hutchison, of the SIC’s roads department, said the new policy guidelines still ensured that all side roads were gritted after snow.

However he said the council had reduced its fleet of gritters from 24 to 18, so it might take longer for some roads to be treated.

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“We have been gritting all through Shetland, but it’s only still snowing in the north where there has been about four inches, while it’s about an inch everywhere else,” he said on Wednesday morning.

He also allayed concerns that supplies of grit were running low after observers noted the stockpiles of grit at Lerwick’s Rova Head were rather small.

Hutchison explained that the council was now storing its grit at the Scord quarry, by Scalloway, where it could be measured out more effectively using the weighbridge.

He added that the council was still adhering to the European guidelines on how much grit was laid on the roads, as it had always done.

Meanwhile the Met Office has issued another yellow alert for snow in Shetland and Orkney for Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Police area commander Angus MacInnes urged all users of the road to take care, including pedestrians after a report was received on Tuesday that a jogger had run into the side of a moving car in Lerwick. No serious injuries were reported.

“I would encourage anyone using the road to do so safely, particularly when it’s dark or the weather isn’t so good,” the chief inspector said.

Please send your snow pictures to news@shetnews.co.uk

Between weathers. These pictures were taken within 30 minutes of each other from the same spot in Walls by Graham Uney.

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