Roads and ferries hit by early snowfall

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The Independent Online

Early snowfall and high winds brought disruption to parts of the UK today, affecting roads and ferry services.

Snow fell across high ground from the north midlands towards Scotland, with the Highlands particularly affected.

The A93 Glenshee to Braemar road in the Grampian area was closed due to drifting snow and high winds while motorists on the M74 near Beattock were advised to drive with caution due to snow in the area.

Scotland's ski centres said there was not enough snow to open yet, but bosses were hopeful it will be a good year.

At CairnGorm Mountain ski resort, near Aviemore, snow was falling heavily in the car park at 2,000ft but staff have not been able to assess the situation at the top of the slopes because of high winds.

Colin Matthew, operations manager at the resort, said: "We'll need to wait till the weather subsides and the winds drop so we can get up and really see.

"It's starting to lie at low level but not enough to ski at the moment.

"We started skiing at the end of November last year, so we hope it's the start of a good year."

At the Lecht ski resort in Aberdeenshire, snow showers fell but there was not enough for skiers to take to the slopes.

A spokeswoman said they were playing a "waiting game" and hoping the snow continues.

Billy Payne, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There has been some hill snow today, mostly in the Highlands and the Pennines.

"It has been a few centimetres over high ground, with nothing at lower levels."

The country was also hit by strong winds, with gusts of 65mph at Berry Head in Devon and 60mph in Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway.

Some minor roads were closed for a time in Dumfries and Galloway due to fallen trees while some Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services on the west coast were disrupted due to adverse weather.