Risk of Falling Icicles and Roof Avalanches as Edinburgh Thaws

Submitted by edg on Fri, 10 Dec '10 9.06pm

As recent snow turns to slush, life in Edinburgh is returning to normal. However, the thaw has brought its own problems, as snow loosens and slides off roofs, and spear-like icicles relinquish their grip on gutters and overhangs and fall on pavements below.

The Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service has been advising people to "avoid the perimeter of buildings to reduce the risk of injury from falling icicles, sliding snow or weather-damaged gutters".

The dangers of snow falling off rooftops was vividly highlighted earlier this week in a video of a snow avalanche at the Scottish Widows building.

Where safe to do so, the LBFRS said home-owners should remove icicles. The Fire Service has been removing icicles at some tenement buildings where icicles overhang public footpaths.

“In some cases, this has meant closing off roads for a short space of time to give access to fire appliances and ensure that no one is injured from falling debris.“

Abandoned Cars

Owners of badly parked or abandoned cars are being contacted to remove their vehicles to allow snow clearing and gritting machinery in to clear routes.

Alan Black, Lothian Buses operations control manager after the "atrocious" weather of  the past 10 days one of the problems now facing bus drivers is badly parked or even abandoned cars.

Cllr Robert Aldridge said: "We are expecting the thaw to continue into weekend, which will allow our gritters to reach routes and neighbourhoods they haven't so far been able to treat. It will also allow those drivers whose cars are causing an obstruction on bus and other main routes to move them.

"It is vitally important that we allow buses and snow clearing vehicles the access they need to keep the city moving."

A police spokesman said that cars would be towed.

"If a vehicle has been left in a location where it caused a clear hazard to other drivers or is found to be obstructing the flow of traffic, it will be removed by police. The cost of removing vehicles will be considered on the merit of the situation that led to the vehicle being parked in the location it is found."

Schools back to normality

Edinburgh City Council said that all Edinburgh schools and children and families services are to open on Monday, with community centres getting back into regular service over the weekend (see details).

Rubbish pick-up

After the recent weather disruption, all services are due to run again on Monday with the only exception being the collection of brown bins for garden waste – which is still suspended.

The Council is aiming for a full service for household waste, trade waste and red and blue recycling boxes although it says it is going to take a little time to get the service back to normal.

As a short-term measure residents have been able to use their brown garden waste bin for excess household refuse if their green household waste bin has not been collected.

Both bins should be presented on the normal household waste collection day.

If bin lorries are not able to pick up refuse waste or are running behind – leave the bin out and the Council will collect it as soon as possible.

As well as seeking to restore a full collection service the Council is providing 70 temporary bin skips sited across the city in public locations such as supermarket car parks and schools, for the public to take their excess rubbish.

All four civic amenity sites located at Sighthill, Seafield, Craigmillar and Braehead are also open seven days per week.

Residents will be able to take vans or cars with trailers to these sites to drop of their refuse in black bags.

Commercial vans will also be allowed into the sites for black bag household waste only, from Monday until further notice.

Edinburgh Community Centres opening this weekend


  • Tollcross Community Centre - open this weekend for normal programme
  • South Bridge Resource Centre - open as usual on Saturday
  • South Side Community Centre - open as usual
  • Inch Community Centre - open as usual


  • Craigentinny Community Centre - open on Saturday 11th Dec 9-1pm to run normal programme.
  • Jack Kane Community Centre - open Saturday 11-1pm drama group. Sunday 10-4pm Kurdish Initiative 6-8pm Oot 'n' aboot project
  • Castleview - open Saturday afternoon Football Club

South West

  • St Bride's Community Centre - open on Saturday for children's dance classes performance at 2.00pm. The cafe will be open from 10.00am - 3.00pm. Will re open at 7.30pm - midnight for Garvald's fundraising ceilidh.
  • Clovenstone Community Centre - junior club on Saturday from 10-12pm. Warm centre open for the general public on Sunday 14 December 10-4pm for hot drinks and company
  • Pentland Community Centre - Warm centre open for local people between 10-2pm for hot drinks and company. No evening classes Friday 10th December. Open Saturday 11th December 9.00 - 1.00pm
  • Westburn Centre - open Saturday 11th December 09.00 -1.30pm


  • South Queensferry Community Centre - open Saturday 10-3.30pm (normal programme)
  • Rosebery Hall, South Queensferry - open Saturday and Sunday 9-4 (normal programme)
  • Craigmount Community wing - open Sunday


  • West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre - open to run the usual programme Saturday morning
  • Leith - Closed on Saturday. Open on Sunday between 12 - 2pm and 6 - 9pm for regular groups
  • Royston Wardie Community Centre - open to run the usual programme Saturday 10-2.30pm, Sunday 12-5pm.