Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has received a further update on preparations for the stormy weather which will be affecting Scotland for the rest of this week at a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience team this lunchtime.
Some areas are already experiencing the high winds, heavy rain and wintry showers that will be a feature of the coming days with Storm Barbara expected tomorrow.
The Met Office has updated its Amber warning to run from lunchtime on Friday to midnight but a yellow warning for high winds remains in place across the country.
Transport operators continue to do all they can to run services where possible today and tomorrow but safety of crews and passengers has to be the top priority. Those planning to travel are being warned to expect disruption and consider the weather conditions as part of their plans.
Ferries continue to be affected today and the operators are getting information out to their customers proactively. There may be changes to flights and rail services particularly tomorrow when the worst of the conditions are expected. We are already seeing tricky driving conditions with restrictions on bridges and we can expect this to continue with restrictions and intermittant closures in the far north.
Utilities, including power and telcom companies, are bringing in extra staff, resources and equipment in the key areas likely to be affected by the storm. Vulnerable customers are also being offered help and advice.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “Ministers are getting regular updates on the status of Storm Barbara and the likely impacts with gusts of 90 mph expected across the far north of the country tomorrow where the Met Office has an Amber warning in place.
“Our Multi-Agency Response Team (MART), involving partner organisations, such as Police Scotland, is active at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre to monitor conditions and make sure that the public has the latest information and I will be back at the control centre myself tomorrow morning. A webpage is live on the Traffic Scotland website with links to the latest information on road, rail, air and ferries.
“The transport operators have all of the relevant information on their websites and social media feeds and they have been proactively contacting passengers where they can. The safety of the traveling public is our main concern and services will run where possible but planning in advance is essential and people should leave plenty of time for journeys and consider the conditions and when they travel.
“We are working with all involved to get people to where they want to be safely so they can enjoy the festive season with their friends and family.”