A major incident was declared overnight after 22 vehicles became trapped in snowdrifts

However, the A835 between Ullapool and Altguish has now reopened, although motorists are still urged to avoid travelling, where possible.

Emergency services and other partners responded to the area to assist those within the vehicles and ensure their safety, while welfare centres were set up at Ullapool and Aultguish.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported and from around midday, motorists were able to travel as part of a police convoy, before the roadway was fully reopened from 2.30pm.

The junction with the A832 at Braemore remains closed.

All of the agencies involved will continue to devote resources to the area this evening in the event of further adverse weather.

Superintendent Maggie Pettigrew from Highlands and Islands Division said: “While I am pleased to confirm the reopening of the A835, I want to stress that motorists should not travel unless it is absolutely essential.

“We know that a number of people were requiring to drive to coronavirus vaccination appointments in the Ullapool area and surrounding regions today and the multi-agency efforts have ensured this was still possible.

“The successful response to this incident by Police Scotland, Highland Council, NHS Highland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Bear Scotland and local mountain rescue teams demonstrates the outstanding collaboration between all agencies and I wish to thank everyone for their professionalism and dedication in safely retrieving all of those who were trapped and getting the road cleared in as quick a time as possible.

“I also wish to thank our communities and all of those affected by the road closure for their continued support of our efforts.”


Meanwhile, road clearing due to bad weather will be prioritised around vaccination centres, the Deputy First Minister has said.

The Met Office has issued amber warnings for snow in parts of Scotland in the coming days, but John Swinney said the Scottish Government and its partners are working to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

Mr Swinney said: “We’re prioritising the clearance of roads in and around vaccination centres, that is standard practice around NHS facilities wherever there is snow or ice.

“These measures should help to ensure that people are able to meet their destinations.”

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the Deputy First Minister said invited for a vaccination can rearrange their appointment by following the instructions on the letter they received.

Chief Executive of The Highland Council Donna Manson added: “Our staff are working tirelessly to keep lifeline routes open where possible and to support our partners in the emergency services.

"The key message is we still have an amber warning in place for this part of the Highlands – Stay home and stay safe.”

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Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Operating Company Representative, said: 
“Teams have worked tirelessly in difficult conditions as a collaborative effort to keep people safe and to reopen the A835. 

"BEAR teams will remain in the area to continue with clear-up operations throughout the night and deal with any further snowfall and drifting.  Our 24/7 control room will also be monitoring conditions across the network.

“Driving conditions are still very challenging in the area, and we encourage motorists to play their part by only traveling unless it is essential. 

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"If you do need to head out please ensure you plan ahead before setting off, making sure to leave in plenty of time and that your vehicle is adequately equipped with emergency supplies. 

"It is essential to drive to conditions at all times and to check Traffic Scotland for the most up to date information ahead of your journey.”

If you are unable to travel to receive your coronavirus vaccination, you can rearrange your appointment.  Details on rescheduling can be obtained by visiting www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/rearrange-or-opt-out-of-your-coronavirus-vaccination-appointment.