Weather Conditions Improve
As the heavy rain that we have experienced over the last few days clears from the North West of Scotland, Transport Minister Keith Brown has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room from the National Traffic Control Centre in South Queensferry.
Conditions are generally improving and the Met Office Amber and Yellow warnings, that have been in place, have now expired as the weather front moves South.
The Scottish Government and its partners are monitoring the situation closely and the partnership approach to on-going incidents continues, with an average of 227 mm, almost nine inches, of rain falling the North West Highlands since Friday.
The road network has been affected by the conditions and the A83 is closed as a result of landslides. It is estimated that around a 150 tonnes of material has come away from the hillside at the Rest and Be Thankful and the Old Military Road diversion route is being set-up for use in tandem with a clear-up operation, to allow people to continue to travel through Argyll and Bute.
Elsewhere, there are some flooding issues on local roads and in Greenock a diversion has been put in place as a result of flooding on the A8.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“We are seeing a generally improving situation and this will continue throughout the day.
“The main issue is the A83 where there has been a large landslip at the Rest and Be Thankful and two smaller events at either side. Our teams are working hard to get the Old Military Road diversion route up and running and clear debris from the two less serious incidents at Glen Kinglas and Ardgarten, at either end of the Rest, to allow the alternative route to be used. This will keep Argyll and Bute open for business with the clear-up at the RaBT underway.
“A substantial amount of rock and mud has been dislodged from the hillside above the Rest and Be Thankful due to the significant rainfall in the last few days and while some of it has reached the road, a great deal of the debris has been caught by the netting that Transport Scotland has installed as part of its landslide mitigation measures in the area.
“The Scottish Government is intent on finding solutions to keep the A83 open and operational and has already invested nearly £8 million on the A83 around the Rest and Be Thankful. Our landslide mitigation work at Glen Kinglas continues, with the aim of having the first stage of the work completed in advance of the Summer
“We are working closely with our stakeholders to give people the latest information on what is happening and I would urge those traveling in the area to use the Traffic Scotland website and Twitter feed for updates.
“While the weather will be better over the next few days, we are expecting more wet and windy conditions towards the end of the week. Our Ready for Winter campaign highlights how the public can be prepared for weather events and we would encourage everyone to be as prepared as they can be, be aware of where to get help and look out for those nearby who may not be as able to cope with extreme weather events.”
Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who also attended the SGoRR meeting said:
“Although the Met Office warnings have now expired many areas have seen heavy rain in the last few days and localised flooding later today remains possible – especially in the Inverness area. We will continue to monitor the situation and with more rain expected later this week I would ask everyone to remain vigilant
“I’d encourage everyone to regularly check with the SEPA Floodline website for updates and warnings. If you sign up – you can also receive Floodline warnings directly to your mobile phone.”
Transport Minister, Keith Brown will be addressing Parliament on the weather at 2pm.
The Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter campaign, delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross, provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org
For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14.
For Weather Alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the Alerts, go to http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/
Rail, ferries and air users should check with individual service operators’ websites.
For SEPA live flood warnings, information and advice go to www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call Floodline 0345 988 1188