"I doubt though if any party in Scotland would have handled differently."
Not really a party issue. There is plenty more 'the government' should have done on Monday, but the main reason SS had to resign was because of his performance on Newsnight Scotland at 11.00 that night where he was not only rejoicingly complacent but also clearly unaware of the fact that people had been stuck on various motorways for many hours with no realistic prospect of relief.
"Even if if we had automatic barriers to stop people joining blocked motorways people would still try to go round them"
Depends how good the barriers were! BUT I still can't understand why the Police didn't start by preventing more vehicles joining the M8 at Hermiston and Newbridge (and Glasgow equivalents) until it was clear whether those already 'travelling' had anywhere to go. There are enough cameras to give an quick idea of how things were developing. This should have been happening around 9AM.
It seems that not only did the Police and other agencies (not forgetting BEAR Scotland - "BEAR Scotland is based in Perth, Scotland and is the Operating Company responsible for managing and maintaining both the North East and South East trunk road networks on behalf of Transport Scotland. These networks include a large part of the motorway network and the important strategic links to the main cities in Scotland.") fail to make up some plan to deal with the problem, it would appear that there was no implementable emergency plan for the eventuality of 'quite a lot of snow' falling at 'rush hour'.
That, while unusual, it is hardly unforeseeable. The lack of a workable plan IS (nominally) the responsibility of the Transport Minister. It would be nice to think that some people in (for instance) Transport Scotland will be thinking about resigning, but...
It's all very well for 'the buck stops here' style of governance, but if that means that only the person at the top 'carries the can' it hardly encourages others to do what should be their various jobs.
As for the ScotRail 'service' - ignoring the (perpetual) frozen points problem (Network Rail) and the 'can't handle the cold' rolling stock - how difficult is it for the National Rail database to be updated with real/accurate information??
I know people who have stood at Haymarket trying to get to Fife - having checked the web sites before they left home - only to find "no trains", but the web site (on their phone) saying that specific trains are due to leave Waverley at the normal time.