Inverness cancels Hogmanay party

A major Hogmanay street party tonight has been cancelled due to heavy snowfall.

Party organisers were forced to call off the celebrations in Inverness as the weather deteriorated.

Northern Constabulary said travel routes in and around the Highland city were treacherous.

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The weather has been getting worse throughout the day and more snow is forecast.

A large crowd was expected in Inverness for the city's Red Hot Highland Fling, a free event with entertainment from The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the Peatbog Fairies.

Chief Inspector Andrew MacLean, said: "The underfoot conditions in Inverness are extremely hazardous and the roads in the city and in the outlying areas are treacherous.

"For reasons of public safety we made a recommendation to the organisers and they have decided to cancel the Hogmanay Party tonight."

Revellers across the rest of Scotland were urged to wrap up as they prepare to see in the new year in sub-zero temperatures.

Forecasters predicted the mercury will drop to minus 1C in Edinburgh, where 80,000 people are expected for the street party.

It is likely to be as cold as minus 2C in Aberdeen and minus 3C in Glasgow, where a crowd of 10,000 will pack into George Square.

Government ministers advised travellers to take extra care on the roads in the freezing weather.

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The A9 was closed at the Raigmore interchange in Inverness today when a lorry jacknifed and two cars got stuck in the snow.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: "Adverse weather conditions continue – some of the coldest conditions in recent times – and temperatures are set to plummet below freezing again with snow predicted for parts of Scotland.

"Roads will be busy and people should continue to take that extra bit of care when travelling.

"Gritting and road safety operations will continue around the clock and local authorities are doing a tremendous job in the circumstances."

In Edinburgh, pop act Noisettes will perform at the Concert In The Gardens event where 1980s ska favourites Madness will bring in the bells.

Indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks and rock band The Enemy are among the other artists performing on the three stages of the street party.

The celebration will draw to a close with a fireworks and laser display against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, followed by a mass rendition of the traditional Auld Lang Syne.

Tickets for the Concert In The Garden enclosure have sold out and sales for the other stages were selling well, organisers said.

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Deacon Blue will headline Glasgow's sell-out Hogmanay party, which will have a fireworks display over the City Chambers to herald the New Year.

Chief Superintendent Bernard Higgins, of Strathclyde Police, said: "We want everyone to have a really great time at Hogmanay and remember it for all the right reasons.

"We are asking people to drink sensibly and enjoy themselves as excessive drinking not only makes you vulnerable but impairs your judgment."

In Stirling, revellers will welcome in the New Year with a party on the castle esplanade, featuring singer Sandi Thom and X-Factor performers The MacDonald Brothers.

At midnight, mass pipes and drums will cross the castle drawbridge beneath a fireworks display.

In Aberdeen, a fireworks display has been organised to bring in the new year and in nearby seaside town Stonehaven, crowds will be treated to

a "fireball parade".

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