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Storm Henry travel disruption

Published: 1 Feb 2016 15:30
Part of:
Transport

Travel disruption likely as wind and rain warnings in place.

The Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) has been activated and is closely monitoring events following the Met Office's Amber weather warning for wind this afternoon into Tuesday morning.

The warning covers much of Scotland including the Highlands, Central Belt and Borders regions and could lead to some disruption on the transport network.

Currently there are restrictions on some bridges, with the Forth Road Bridge now closed to all vehicles.

Rail services are also seeing changes to normal timetables, with some reductions to evening services in particular. Disruptions and cancellations to ferry services across the Scottish ferry network are being experienced, however this is not uncommon at this time of year.

Drivers are being advised spray from surface water may cause some difficult driving conditions.

The gale force and severe gale force winds that have been forecasted could also have impacts on some utilities providers, including power supplies and telecoms.

In addition to wind warnings, there is also a Yellow Be Aware warning in place for rain in place until 18:00 on Tuesday covering Highland, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross, Stirling. In particular, people living in Western Isles and Firth of Clyde have been advised to prepare themselves for the possibility of localised flooding due to the persistent rain forecast.

Details of the weather alerts are available at: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings.

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, said: "This latest period of unsettled weather is likely to cause familiar problems for travellers across the country with disruption to ferry and rail services likely.

"The gale force winds that are forecast are also likely to make travelling conditions particularly difficult for high-sided vehicles and we have already seen restrictions and evens some full closures of bridges today, with further disruption probable.

"Our Multi-Agency Response Team, based at the National Traffic Scotland Control Centre which has been in operation throughout the weekend will remain in place to monitor events and respond as required. We will also be deploying increased numbers of support vehicles to help keep the network clear where possible.

"Travellers are advised to take care in difficult conditions and allow extra time for their journeys. People should continue to check radio reports, visit the Traffic Scotland website or twitter feed, check with their transport operator, and take the latest police advice before setting off.

"High winds can also cause disruption to utilities like power and telecoms and key responder organisations across Scotland, including councils, utilities and blue light services, are well used to dealing with severe weather events such as these forecast.

"We have ensured that they have put in place the necessary planning and response arrangements to deal with any impacts as quickly and effectively as possible, nevertheless, people should try to ensure that they are prepared, including checking on the elderly and vulnerable."

Pascal Lardet, SEPA's Hydrology Duty Manager, said:

"We expect small watercourses and rivers to respond throughout the week, with minor disruption likely across the north west. Impacts may include localised flooding to low lying land, roads and isolated properties.

"There is also a coastal flood risk for the Western Isles today, due to storm force winds generating a large surge and waves. Flooding impacts could include disruption to travel, particularly causeways, from spray and wave overtopping. Elsewhere tides are currently low, however minimal impacts from wave overtopping and spray is possible along exposed northern and western coastlines until Tuesday.

"Localised impacts are possible throughout Monday and overnight, including areas of the Firth of Clyde."

Notes to editors

For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14. Rail, ferries and air users should check with individual service operators' websites.

For the latest rail advice, visit the ScotRail website: www.scotrail.co.uk/

The full Weather Alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the Alerts, are available at www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/

SEPA's Floodline service will provide targeted flood warnings for local areas. floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup/

The Scottish Government's annual Ready for Winter campaign provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org