Walking down the M8 with no-one there


ANYONE who has had the misfortune of negotiating rush hour traffic will know just how busy the M8 motorway gets.

But this was completely surreal.

To be on one of Scotland’s busiest motorways with not a car in sight was almost unnerving.

But instantly it was plain to see why it was not possible to have the road open.

Escorted in a police car, officers moved cones away to allow us to pass down the closed slip road at Junction Four.

The stretch of motorway was completely blanketed in thick snow and ice.

Even the police 4×4 was crawling along at 12mph as it bumped along the uneven surface.

The outside lane was piled with around two feet of snow and scattered snowmen were a reminder of the stranded passengers the night before.

The ice itself must have been four inches thick in places. Maybe more.

As we went further down the road a black Porsche was being loaded onto a recovery van.

The efforts of police officers was shown as they were also armed with shovels to help get the car out.

One officer said that he had cleared a total of 30 HGVs and 20 cars and had only one lorry to go until the road was completely clear to allow the army of gritters to begin their gruelling task.

Looking at the road it was hard to see how it got it that state for being such a main busy route.

I was told that because of the long queues of traffic the day before which made it difficult for gritters to keep going up and down.

But not one part of the road was clear and drivable.

A couple of gritters made their way up the deserted road to no avail as the salt was doing nothing to the surface.

One of the diggers even looked liked it too had broken with the sheer force of the ice.

A supervisor of the firm Bear was monitoring the situation and said that more were on their way up the road.

In the distance flashing lights could be seen and an army of ice-scrapers and gritters made their way up for their first main run on the stretch of motorway

Six ice-scrapers ploughed through the tough ice and snow making way for the salt that came behind them.

Driving back over the road after their first run it didn’t feel or look much different.

It was hard to see how and when the motorway could be re-opened.

In the morning, we will find out if their heroic efforts have made any difference at all.