Fife Weather: Roads still poor – expect major delays

Kirkcaldy High Street - covered in snow and very quiet
Kirkcaldy High Street - covered in snow and very quiet

Fife Council has said conditions across the region remain ‘’very poor’’ – and has re-iterated its message not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

The update came after the Met Office changed the weather alert to Yellow, but the sheer volume of snow combined with winds, drifting and very low temperatures, means conditions remain very poor with many roads blocked.

Bread and milk supplies struggled to cope with demand as many people bought in bulk

Bread and milk supplies struggled to cope with demand as many people bought in bulk

The council has said anyone who opts to travel should plan ahead, check forecasts, and be prepared for major delays.

It described major roads as ‘’passable with care’’ while primary routes are being ploughed and salted.

Snow routes – a prioritised section of the road network – continue to be repeatedly ploughed but the high winds and drifting snow are causing setbacks.

Steve Grimmond, chief executive, said: “We’re using additional assistance from contractors to open up sections of main roads blocked by drifting but the situation continues to be challenging. We are treating the priority one footpaths too, but given the difficulties on the main part of the network, we haven’t yet been able to divert ploughs on to lower category roads.’’

He added: “We know it’s very frustrating and concerning for people, but crews are working round the clock to try to clear the roads and hundreds of staff diverted from their usual day jobs are helping to clear paths.

‘’Although we use the term ‘lower priority’ around roads, of course we know that being able to leave home and get to the shops or to work is a priority for everyone. Please be patient and bear with us as we try to reach all of Fife’s communities.”

The council will decide on Sunday if schools will re-open on Monday.

It also hopes to have larger recycling centres open this weekend to help clear the backlog after bin collections were cancelled.

There are hopes a limited Ring & Ride service will start again on Monday for clients with hospital appointments, while emergency housing repairs are offering a limited service.

But depleted or empty grit bins won’t be re-stocked, as the council’s focus remains on getting roads open and main pavements cleared.

Mr Grimmond added: ‘‘I know many council employees who couldn’t make it into work are clearing snow in their area, visiting families we know to be vulnerable, delivering shopping to people with mobility issues, even delivering prescriptions on foot from a village pharmacy. And of course, it’s not just council staff – other public sector, voluntary agencies and Fifers everywhere are chipping in and doing some heroic things. Huge thanks to everyone.

“At times like this it doesn’t have to take a lot to be a hero.

‘’We know many places are cut off and many other people are confined to their homes – please check on your neighbours if you can. Some people are struggling for food and basic supplies and others may be lonely, worried or cold.

“Equally people can help the most vulnerable in our communities by keeping our phone lines free. We’re finding many people are still calling about non-emergency issues which means people in greatest need can’t get through to talk to us.

“By working together we can help each other through a very difficult weekend and hopefully find the challenge subsides next week.”