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Road crews prepped for Storm Arwen amid warning Kessock, Dornoch and Skye bridges could be slapped with high wind restrictions


By Hector MacKenzie

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High winds warning for Kessock Bridge.
High winds warning for Kessock Bridge.

DRIVERS are being warned to prepare for restrictions on Highland road bridges tomorrow as maintenance crews prepare for anything that Storm Arwen can throw at them.

The first named storm of winter is on its way and BEAR Scotland – which looks after the trunk roads – says it is primed to tackle whatever weather conditions it brings.

Forecasts indicate there will be very strong winds across eastern Scotland from 3pm on Friday. 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 south-east 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.

BEAR Scotland’s 24/7 control rooms as well as additional patrols will be monitoring conditions so that any issues can be addressed as quickly as possible. That includes specialist resources on hand to remove fallen trees.

The winter frontline fleet will initially focus on carrying out precautionary treatments that aim to stop ice forming. This involves spreading pre-wetted salt on routes forecast to experience low temperatures. Winter service patrol vehicles will be deployed overnight when conditions dictate to monitor the effectiveness of the precautionary treatments and will be on hand to deal with snow and particularly drifting where it occurs.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s operating company representative for the North West, said: “We are fully prepped and are closely monitoring conditions and will act quickly when required.

“We remind members of the public to check before travelling. Traffic Scotland is a great source of the latest journey information and advice. Drivers of high sided and wind-susceptible vehicles such as caravans and trailers should take particular care and check for restrictions.”

Tips for driving in winter:

· Only travel when absolutely necessary

· Allow more time for your journey

· Listen to local and national radio for travel and weather information

· Slow down and leave increased distance between you and the vehicle in front.

· Be prepared when travelling. Keep the following in your vehicle:

o Ice scraper

o De-icer

o Torch

o Warm clothes including gloves and hats

o Blanket

o Shovel

o Food & drink

o High visibility jacket

o First aid kit

Check:

o Your tyres are at the correct pressures and have good tread.

o Your vehicle lights are clean and working.

o Your wiper blades are effective.

o Your battery is in good condition and fully charged.

o Your vehicle anti-freeze is the right concentration (a garage can do this for you).

o Your windows and mirrors are clear of ice or condensation.

Drivers can get winter driving advice at: http://trafficscotland.org/media/badweatherleaflet.pdf

Traffic Scotland provides real time information on trunk road conditions. You can visit their mobile site here: https://my.trafficscotland.org, or access information at www.trafficscotland.org or via twitter @TrafficScotland.

The Transport Scotland trunk road gritter tracker details where spreaders have been in the past 24 hours. This can be viewed at Traffic Scotland here: http://trafficscotland.org/wintergritterinfo/

Consider public transport options for your journey by visiting www.travelinescotland.com

BEAR is also on hand to deal with any issues on the trunk roads brought on by storms that bring high winds and heavy rain. Gully tankers, sandbags and water pumps are available to deal with any flooding issues and chainsaw operatives are also on standby to attend any fallen trees or branches.

Met Office issues amber wind warning


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