FABIANI WARNS OF MORE CHALLENGING TRAVEL CONDITIONS

Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has warned East Kilbride residents to prepare for more bad weather this week.

Linda said “While conditions will not reach the severe levels witnessed last Thursday, the unsettled weather is set to continue through the week and people are advised to keep up to date with forecasts and information from Traffic Scotland.

“Police are expected to declare a level three ‘high risk of disruption for road journeys’ warning for some parts – but have stressed that different parts of the central belt will be more adversely affected than others and have asked the public to stay tuned to local radio for more precise updates.”

Motorists are being warned to brace themselves for potential travel disruption during tomorrow (Tuesday) evening’s rush hour, when the next phase of unsettled weather is expected to sweep across parts of the Central belt.

The Met Office has today issued a yellow warning for snow in southern Highland, Grampian, Tayside, Fife, Central, Lothian & Borders, Strathclyde and Dumfries & Galloway which is valid from 3am tomorrow for a 24-hour period. Strong winds and gusts in excess of 60mph are possible through the Central belt. Heavy snowfalls above 200m could lead to blizzard conditions across higher ground:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_warnings.html.  The types of locations which could be effected are the M8 around Harthill and the M77 Fenwick.

Transport Scotland’s Multi Agency Response Team (MART) has been activated and is liaising with the Met Office, Network Rail, the police and operating companies to ensure preparations are in place as the weather situation develops this week and that public messaging is rapid, consistent and as up-to-date as possible.

Following a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience team earlier today, Transport Minister Keith Brown said “Last week demonstrated what can be achieved with the right levels of preparation and appropriate warnings in place for the public. It was a co-ordinated and effective response with the public playing their part by responding to pleas from the police and Transport Scotland not to take any chances on the roads.

“According to the Met Office this week won’t be as severe, however the forecast does present another serious test for our systems and lines of communication. We cannot control the weather, and disruption cannot be ruled out, but the wide range of measures taken has paid dividends so far.

“The latest forecast suggests that from around 3pm tomorrow winds gusting to 50-60 mph will start in the west and move east across the central belt. While these are less ferocious that last week the added complication is that they will bring up to 10cm of snow to ground over 200m. Moving into Thursday and Friday a new low will impact across the UK and may bring high winds and snow to parts of Scotland. The Met Office are actively monitoring the situation and will update us as the week progresses. I would again urge the public to check radio reports and the Traffic Scotland website for updates.” 

 

ENDS

 

Background

Transport Scotland, working in partnership with the police, has developed a severe weather information strategy to warn and inform road users when significant disruption to the road network is expected during extreme weather. The advice and information service will commence when severe weather is forecast within Scotland. Forecast information will be provided in advance and during  severe weather conditions. The travel advice will relate to three specific stages which will be adopted depending on the severity of the weather: 

Travel with caution – Police are advising people that conditions for road travel are hazardous and drivers should exercise extra caution

High risk of disruption for road journeys – Police are advising that conditions for travel are extremely poor and there is a high risk of disruption for road journeys. Travellers are likely to experience significant delays 

Avoid travelling on the roads – Police advise drivers to avoid travelling on the roads. Travellers will experience severe delays of several hours or more.

This advice will be provided to road users through Transport Scotland’s network of Variable Message Signs, the Traffic Scotland website, radio travel information broadcasts and the Traffic Scotland Customer Careline. 

There were over 110 incidents on the motorway and trunk road network over the course of the storm which affected the country. In terms of keeping the travelling public informed the Traffic Scotland service was used extensively to get key travel messages out. There were a record number of 24 million plus hits on the Traffic Scotland Website. The Traffic Customer Care line received 1542 calls, an increase of over 1500 per cent on the normal daily demand. Traffic Scotland’s digital radio service broadcast throughout the period and Twitter was also used to provide updates. 

For more details go to:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_warnings.html  or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKocsW_uBXY

For more information please see the Scottish Government Read for Winter website http://www.readyscotland.org/are-you-ready/winter-weather/

Roads information available at Traffic Scotland or by phoning 0800 028

14 14 The Floodline Warning system: http://www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/

Rail, ferries and air travel – check with individual service operators’ websites.

 

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