Scotland battens down the hatches


Scotrail has said it will wind down services by 4pm on Wednesday ahead of heavy rain and high winds that are forecast to hit Scotland later in the day.

The Met Office has issued an amber wind warning from 6pm on Wednesday until midnight, ahead of Storm Dudley. It covers the south of Scotland, the Central Belt, Strathclyde and parts of Tayside and Fife. Winds are expected to reach 90mph in some parts.

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A yellow wind warning covers the whole of Scotland from 3pm on Wednesday until 6am on Thursday.

Transport Scotland said road, rail, air and ferry services are all likely to be affected by the conditions, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.

Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: ‘The high winds will likely bring challenges for the trunk road network, with the potential for restrictions on bridges, so travellers should make sure they plan their journey in advance, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.’

Scotrail said it will cease running early on Wednesday afternoon as a safety precaution ahead of the worst of Storm Dudley. However, services on the Far North, Kyle of Lochalsh, and Aberdeen-Inverness lines will continue to run, while some cross-border services will operate too, but at reduced speeds.

The firm described the move as ‘a necessary step to ensure the safety of our staff and customers due to the severe weather’, adding that the strength of the winds expected could damage infrastructure, blowing debris and trees onto tracks and damaging equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.

Scotrail said Network Rail will have additional engineers out across the network ready to react to problems and will check all affected lines for damage before reintroducing services as quickly as possible.

Disruption on some lines is expected to continue until mid-morning on Thursday.

A further yellow warning for wind is in place for Friday in southern parts of Scotland ahead of the second named storm, Storm Eunice. Scotrail said its weather specialists are monitoring the conditions.

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