Stormy conditions expected over festive season
With many people expected to travel home for Christmas over the next few days, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has been at the National Traffic Control Centre to see the preparations being made to help them reach their destinations safely.
The Met Office is warning that the weather over this week is likely to become more unsettled with some strong winds, heavy rain and snow on higher ground especially in the north west of the country. A Yellow warning has already been issued for the next three days. Conditions will be worse in the north west and Orkney and Shetland where an Amber warning is in force for Friday and Saturday when Storm Barbara may bring winds of up to 90 mph.
Based on the current forecast, conditions could bring disruption to the transport network with restrictions on road bridges and cancellations or amended timetables on ferry services and at airports.
Those planning to travel should take the conditions into account and check their operators’ websites for the latest information before they set-off on their journeys.
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf said:
“I have been at the National Traffic Control Centre this morning to get the latest on the conditions and we will be working with our partners across this week and the weekend to do all we can to help get people to where they want to be safely.
“Our National Traffic Control Centre will be operational across the period with our Multi Agency Response Team active on the days leading up to Christmas.
“Ferries are particularly susceptible to disruption due to high winds and we may also see some disruption to flights. Those planning to fly or use ferries this festive period should check with their operators for the latest information and consider the forecast as part of their plans.
“The ScotRail Alliance is also geared up for any inclement weather and information has been posted on its website detailing travel arrangements over the festive period and this will be updated as required. Additional staff will be brought in along with specialist equipment to deal with winter weather effects.
“Our operating companies will be out on the network to clear any debris from the trunk roads and to make sure that the risk of any flooding is minimised where possible. They will also be carrying out Winter treatments where required and you can see where they have been active on our gritter tracker.
“Traffic Scotland will have details of any trunk road incidents and the website and Twitter feed will be kept fully up to date with all of the real time information that drivers need to travel safely.”
CalMac’s Operations Director Drew Collier said:
“The west of Scotland is facing storms and high winds in the run up to Christmas and the start of the following week. We would advise anyone planning to travel by ferry over the holiday period to take this into account and plan accordingly. For the latest ferry information, traveller should visit the website www.calmac.co.uk or access our smartphone app and Twitter."