Fife weather: Schools and colleges shut and travel disrupted

Fife College - closed as winter weather impacts across Kingdom (Pic: FFP)
Fife College - closed as winter weather impacts across Kingdom (Pic: FFP)

Fife is braced for a day of disruption after waking to a whiteout and plunging temperatures.

All schools have been closed, and police advise travel only if journeys are essential.

An amber alert remains in place as the ‘beast from the east’ weather front hits the Kingdom.

Fife Council confirmed late last night all 270 schools, and community use facilities, would remain closed today.

And there could be disruption across local authority services as staff were told to follow police advice and take ‘‘no unnecessary risks’’ trying to get to work.

Steve Grimmond, Fife Council’s Chief Executive, said: “The Met Office is telling us we are facing some extremely challenging conditions over the next few days. We must follow the national advice and the safety instructions issued by Police Scotland.

“Keeping our roads as clear as possible is also vital for our emergency services so they can reach people who need them quickly. In spite of all efforts made to clear snow and grit it seems inevitable that driving conditions will be dangerous. Please put your safety, and the safety of others, first.”

Fife College has closed all campuses across Fife, and Tuesday’s evening classes were also abandoned.

On the roads, bus services were subject to delays and cancellations across Fife with stagecoach providing regular updates on its Twitter account @StagecoachEScot.

By early Wednesday morning the X58/60 and 97 St Andrews-Leven had been cancelled, and many other routes were subject to change as the weather conditions worsened.

The Forth Road Bridge is also closed with traffic diverting to the Queensferry Crossing.

Scotrail has already cancelled train services, while police have advised motorists only to travel if their journeys are essential – and to be prepared for delays or even being stranded on higher, more exposed routes.

Fife Shopmobility has closed its stores in the Mercat Shopping Centre and Dunfermline, while Active Fife has scrapped its walks planned for today – one of many community groups now re-thinking its plans as the region remains on amber alert.

Kirkcaldy Golf Club is also closed.

Reports of treacherous driving conditions started to emerge last night, and roads were significantly quieter this morning.

Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle said: “We would urge people who live or intend to visit the regions within the amber warning area to avoid travelling on the roads unless absolutely necessary.

“If you do choose to travel in the amber warning area, you are likely to face a high level of disruption on the roads networks with significant delays or even be stranded on the higher and more exposed routes.

“Even if your vehicle is suitable for severe weather, other travellers may become stuck and the road ahead of you blocked.’’

He urged motorists to ensure all passengers were prepared for the worst delays or any problems that may arise should they become stranded.

“Make sure you have warm clothing, food and drink and a winter kit to hand,’’ he said. ‘‘Please carry a fully charged mobile phone and where possible, the capability to charge your mobile phone.”

Fife Flyers and Edinburgh Capitals are scheduled to play an ice hockey match tonight.

Flyers tweeted an update last night which said: Our game is still going ahead tomorrow. Both teams are monitoring the weather/conditions.’’