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26/10/14 16:29

Brown chairs weather resilience meeting

Scottish Government 'stands ready' following MET office amber (be perpared) alert.

Transport Minister Keith Brown has today chaired a Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) meeting, following yesterday’s Met Office ‘Amber’ Alert for prolonged and heavy rain until Tuesday morning, and disruption due to flooding.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings

While the majority of travel modes at a national level are largely unaffected including aviation, road and rail - high winds and heavy rain have caused ferry cancellations and restrictions on some roads and bridges, with further disruption to travel likely to continue in some areas, particularly the north west.

Following the launch last week of the Scottish Government’s ‘Ready for Winter’ campaign, Mr Brown said the Scottish Government and its partners are monitoring weather events closely to ensure all of the necessary preparations are in place and ready to respond to events as required.

Speaking from the Scottish Government’s Traffic Control Centre at South Queensferry where he was co-ordinating the effort, Mr Brown said:

“Last week the Scottish Government launched its ‘Ready for Winter’ Campaign to raise awareness around the challenges winter can bring for communities across the country and highlight some of the preparations people can make to help mitigate the effects. This weekend’s Amber alert from the Met Office - the first of this winter - is another timely reminder that we are now moving into winter proper, and all of the sudden changes poor weather can bring.

“That is why the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to events as they arise.

“Today I chaired a Scottish Government Resilience Room meeting at our traffic control centre with responders including Transport Scotland, local authorities, Police Scotland and SEPA colleagues in attendance, to assess conditions and further weather forecasts and deal with any issues likely to affect travellers and local communities.

“We have already witnessed the effects of some high winds and very heavy rain over parts of the country, and the Met Office are indicating conditions are set to continue until Tuesday morning, so we should not be complacent. The majority of transport modes are largely unaffected at a national level including aviation, trunk roads motorways, and rail, however there are some local issues arising which we are watching closely and responding to as needed.

“The heavy rain is a particular problem and we have seen seen disruption to some local and trunk roads, in particular the A82, due to surface water, debris on the roads and flooding. Issues are being managed on the ground by the police and welfare issues resolved to get drivers on their way. High winds are also affecting access to road bridges and delays and cancellations to ferry services across the Clyde and Hebrides routes. There are also some delays on the Glasgow Central to Largs rail line at Kilwinning which rail travellers should be aware of.

“As usual we ask people setting out to be prepared and plan their journeys by listening to radio reports, visit the Traffic Scotland website or twitter feed, heed any police advice, and consult their local travel operators.

"We and our partners are working hard to make sure that Scotland is prepared for any disruption, and we will continue to monitor events through our national control centre and Scottish Government Resilience Room as required.”

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter campaign, delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross, provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org

For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14.

The full Alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the Alerts, are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/

Rail, ferries and air users should check with individual service operators’ websites.

For more advice and guidance: www.sepa.org.uk/flooding or via Floodline 0845 9881188.