Drivers in Aberdeenshire have been warned that conditions on the roads are still affected by the recent big chill in the region.
A colossal amount of snow fell on the area over the first two weeks of this month, with several major roads being closed and a number of cars getting stuck in drifts.
Most of those routes have now been reopened thanks to the efforts of gritters, snow ploughs and other road maintenance teams.
However, some hazards do remain.
‘Distracting’ snow on roadside
Aberdeenshire Council has advised drivers that the large piles of snow left behind by ploughs may have enclosed roads within “vertical walls” or made them narrower, which can be “distracting and disorienting” for road users.
Passing places may not be entirely cleared of snow yet, posing an issue for those on single-track roads.
People travelling in these areas are being asked to drive at appropriate speeds, especially when it is dark.
Thaws and floods
As the snow and ice piled on road verges begins to thaw, it will become more unstable, and there is a risk of lumps collapsing back on the road.
The cycle of freezing and thawing on the road surface also causes potholes – with several particularly nasty examples across the region being identified this week.
The council is currently fixing these potholes on a prioritised basis.
Flooding from snowmelt also poses a potential issue, as surface water can affect stopping distances.
People who are travelling to a local scenic spot for some exercise may find there are limited places to park, as not all car parks have yet been cleared.
Aberdeenshire Council has asked people encountering this problem to park responsibly, without blocking carriageways or private entrances, or to consider trying a different place.
There is currently no access to the car parks at Loch Muick.
The B974 is the only road closed at the moment due to snow, at the Cairn O’Mount snow gates, though the C8M Loch Muick Road is also shut.
The B977 road between Kintore and Wester Fintray is closed due to flooding from the River Don, which has burst its banks. A review of the situation there is set to take place tomorrow morning.
People across Scotland are still being advised to only leave home for essential reasons, due to the coronavirus lockdown.