Couple stranded for 17 hours

A retired couple were left "starving and freezing" after being stranded in their car for 17 hours on a journey which usually takes 40 minutes.

Hundreds of travellers were caught out yesterday as a fresh wave of snow and blizzards struck major routes in central Scotland.

Pensioners Stewart and Kathleen Hendrie described their experience as "appalling".

They left their daughter's house on Glasgow's south side at 10am on Monday and finally sought warmth in a hotel in Cumbernauld at 4am today.

The couple were trying to make their way home to Falkirk when they were

caught up in the gridlock.

Mrs Hendrie, 66, said: "We had breakfast with my daughter at 8am before setting off home. It was 9pm before we ate again after we walked a mile along the road to a petrol station.

"The hunger we could deal with, but the worst thing was the intense cold. I didn't know how long we'd be stuck and at one point I joked with my husband that I thought I was going to get hypothermia.

"We put 10 of petrol in the car before setting off, which is more than enough to make the journey, but we were starting to run out of fuel after leaving the engine running to keep warm.

"Luckily, there was a van near us who let us come inside for a while to get a blast of heat when it was minus 14 outside."

The couple's son, Douglas, managed to book Mrs Hendrie and her 65-year-old husband into the Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld after they had been stuck at the Crowwood Roundabout for five hours.

However, it was a further 15 hours before they were able to make the eight-mile journey, finally checking into the hotel just after 4am.

Mrs Hendrie said: "It was so good to get into the warm and get a good breakfast. We only managed to sleep for a few hours and then we decided to leave just after 9am.

"It hadn't snowed in a while and we wanted to chance getting back to Falkirk while we could. We just wanted to get home.

"It was an appalling experience I would never want to repeat again. We were starving, freezing and, above all, worried. If there's even one flake of snow that falls again I won't be going out in it."

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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