Severe storm brings widespread disruption and damage to Scotland

Winds reaching 100mph winds and heavy rain lashed Scotland today, damaging buildings and bringing severe disruption to the transport network.

The Met Office issued its highest-possible “red” warning for storm-force winds across central and southern Scotland this morning. The wind warning has since been reduced to an amber alert.

Forecasters said winds of between 85mph and 97mph were recorded in Scotland’s central belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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The severe weather forced the closure of the country’s main road and rail bridges, saw dozens of flights cancelled and caused train services to be suspended.

People have been warned against travelling if their journey is not essential.

On the railway network, all train services from Glasgow Central higher level, including trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh, were suspended because of adverse weather. All trains from Glasgow Queen Street were also cancelled.

Trains were also suspended between Dalmuir, Milngavie and Larkhall, and Motherwell and Lanark.

Trains between Helensburgh Central and Dumbarton Central were disrupted because of the wind and rain.

A ScotRail spokesman said services had been suspended for safety reasons.

He said: “Safety is paramount. The decision to suspend a number of services across the country followed discussions with Network Rail, with numerous obstructions on lines including fallen power cables and trees.

“There were also warnings from emergency and other agencies to stay off roads.”

High winds of up to 95mph also affected services on the East Coast main line in the morning, particularly those travelling within Scotland and on cross-border services.

Passengers heading north of Newcastle were advised not to travel today as services were suspended on East Coast’s routes north of Edinburgh, to and from destinations including Dundee, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Network Rail, which manages Edinburgh Waverley station, closed the building to trains and passengers for safety reasons. The Forth and Tay Rail bridges were also closed.

Glasgow airport had at least 35 cancelled flights and passengers were being asked not to travel to the airport without checking with their airline first. There was some damage to the building but it was not thought to be serious.

Edinburgh airport experienced “severe disruption” due to the high winds. By late morning, the airport was not accepting inbound flights and departing flights were being assessed on an individual basis.

The airport has had more than 40 flight cancellations and is experiencing “significant delays”. Parts of the terminal have been damaged.

An airport spokesman said: “In co-operation with our airlines, we have decided not to accept inbound aircraft as the wind levels are currently too high.

“Many of the main transport links to the airport are currently closed or affected.

“We would advise all passengers to monitor weather warnings and not travel to the airport before contacting their airlines and ensuring that it is safe to travel.”

On the roads, the 10-lane Kingston Bridge in the heart of Glasgow was closed due to high winds, as was the Forth Road Bridge on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The Erskine Bridge, which links Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire across the River Clyde, and the Tay Road Bridge, spanning the Firth of Tay from Newport-on-Tay in Fife to Dundee, were also shut.

The M9 was closed from junction eight northbound because of fallen trees and overturned lorries blocking the route.

• For more information on the forecast and weather warnings, visit the Met Office website

• For the latest on the roads situation, visit trafficscotland.org