Stand by – here comes son of Hurricane Bawbag

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Hurricane Bawbag completely closed the Forth Road Bridge on December 8

THE Met Office has issued an Amber Warning for Wind for much of central, southern and western Scotland tomorrow (Wednesday 28th December) between 9am and midnight.

Gale or severe gale force winds –  60-70 miles per hour – are expected across all parts of the country with potential for gusts of up to 90 miles per hour in exposed coastal areas of the west.

Although transport networks are expected to be quieter than usual, with schools and many businesses still on holiday, some travel disruption is likely and those who are travelling are advised to plan their journeys and check travel updates in advance.

For most areas, the strongest winds will occur from late morning and through the afternoon, although the eastern Highlands and northeast Scotland will see the strongest winds during the evening. The winds will be accompanied by blustery showers (heavy and prolonged over west and central Scotland), with snow on hills.

Winds of 70 miles per hour could see exposed bridges closed to high sided vehicles and double-deckers. Some low impact coastal flooding is also expected along exposed western and northern coasts from Ayrshire and Arran to Shetland.

Transport Minister Keith Brown today urged those planning to travel tomorrow to plan their journeys in advance and to drive with caution.

He said: “High winds can make travel more hazardous and it is important that people are aware of the conditions on the roads and any consequent delays or disruption so they can plan their journeys accordingly.

“Drivers should be alert to the potential for bridge closures, overturned vehicles and fallen trees and should drive with caution, avoiding unnecessary risks.

“The Scottish Government’s resilience team are monitoring the situation as it develops and standing by to step up emergency response arrangements as necessary. The power companies are also prepared to deal with any power cuts.

“I would urge the public to keep checking the Traffic Scotland website and tune in to local radio for real-time information”.

Transport Scotland’s high winds strategy sets out critical wind speed thresholds that dictate when certain vehicles, and eventually all vehicles, might be banned from using bridges. Actions that can be taken include  ‘warning’ of high winds; ‘segregation’ of high sided vehicles and the full closure of a bridge. This involves careful management and monitoring that ensure safety is maintained at all times while minimising potential impact on traffic as far as possible.

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