Scotland's weather: Restrictions on bridges expected as motorists urged to plan ahead of Storm Arwen
Motorists in Scotland are being warned to expect travel disruption on Friday as Storm Arwen batters the country with 75mph winds.
The Met Office has issued an amber wind warning covering a large part of eastern Scotland, which will be in place from 3pm on Friday to 9am on Saturday, as the first storm of the winter moves across the UK.
Snow has also been forecast for some areas, with a separate yellow warning Friday, which will last from 2pm to 11.59pm.
Forecasts indicate there will be very strong winds across eastern Scotland from 3pm on Friday.
As such, restrictions may be required on bridges such as Skye Bridge, Kessock Bridge, Dornoch Bridge, Cromarty Bridge, Friarton Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge.
The A1, in SE Scotland, is also expected to be impacted by the high winds. There is also expected to be some ice and snow, particularly on high ground.
Graeme Dey, minister for transport, said: “The whole country is going to see blustery conditions, but the Met Office is telling us that eastern parts of Scotland in particular are going to see some difficult weather.”
A yellow warning for wind is also in place for the whole of Scotland from 9am on Friday and all day Saturday. And the Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for snow in the central highlands and parts of northern Scotland, Tayside and FIfe for Friday.
Transport Scotland has said response teams have been stood up for the duration of the storm warnings to closely monitor traffic conditions, and said travellers can view updates on social media, online, and on the radio.
Mr Dey added: “There is the potential for disruption on the roads, especially on bridges, and people should check the latest information before they set off, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland advice. The Traffic Scotland service gives details of ‘wind based’ closures for the bridges on trunk road network, allowing people to plan ahead accordingly.
“Motorists should check Traffic Scotland before they set off to make sure that their route is available. The Traffic Scotland mobile website – my.trafficscotland.org – lets people get the latest information on the move and Traffic Scotland twitter page is updated regularly.
“The conditions are also likely to lead to disruption on other modes of transport, so we are urging people to take the weather into account if they are planning to travel on trains, ferries and flights.”
Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesman, told the PA news agency: “Storm Arwen has been named on the back of a deep low-pressure system moving to the north-east of the UK, which has brought about our amber wind warning on Friday.
“The worst affected areas will predominantly be on the coasts, with gusts of over 75mph bringing possible disruption to travel and longer journey times, power cuts, flying debris and large waves with beach material being thrown around.”
He said Storm Arwen is moving in from the North Sea and will begin to travel south before easing on Sunday.
The Met Office names storms on the back of their potential impact, with Storm Arwen declared as the result of the amber wind warning.