Traffic chaos as A720 Edinburgh bypass closed in both directions at Dreghorn due to flooding

Heavy rain has swept across Scotland

Motorists are facing long delays as heavy rain caused flooding which closed a section of the Edinburgh Bypass.

Traffic Scotland said the A720 was closed in both directions at Dreghorn at 5.30pm on Thursday due to flooding affecting the carriageway. Motorists were left facing delays of up to 50 minutes.

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Police Scotland later urged motorists to avoid the area, saying traffic was backed up to the M8. By 8.30pm, Traffic Scotland announced the carriageway was closed westbound at Lothianburn and eastbound at Dreghorn Junction.

Traffic Scotland tweeted this picture of the hold upsTraffic Scotland tweeted this picture of the hold ups
Traffic Scotland tweeted this picture of the hold ups

Police were directing traffic via the slip roads.

Meanwhile, sandbags were being put in place at points on the River Esk in Musselburgh in East Lothian on Thursday evening as a result of continued heavy rain and rising water levels.

Tom Reid, Head of Infrastructure, East Lothian Council, said: “A multi-agency flood response group - including representation from the council, emergency services, Met Office, Scottish Government and SEPA – was convened earlier today and is continuing to monitor the situation closely into the evening.

“Temporary flood barriers were earlier deployed at New Street/Eskside West (near Loretto Nursey and the Electric bridge), and also at the North High Street/Eskside West and Eskside East/Shorthope Street).

“The deployment of 1,000 sandbags will be taken as a further step on a precautionary basis. The flood response group will continue to be active at this time and further updates will be issued as and when required.”

Earlier, thousands of train passengers suffered disruption as a major line between Scotland and England was closed due to flooding.

Operators affected included Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express, ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper.

Avanti West Coast told passengers: “Please do not attempt to travel with us between Preston and Scotland. We’re really sorry if this affects your journey today.”

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The company told ticketholders they can travel with other operators such as LNER on the East Coast Main Line, postpone their journey or request a refund.

TransPennine Express commercial director Darren Higgins said: “Due to flooding on the railway line north of Carlisle, train services are significantly disrupted.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our priority and we are urging customers not to travel between Manchester, Liverpool (or) Preston to Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“Anyone planning on travelling by train today can choose to defer their travel or claim a refund.”

ScotRail services between Carlisle and Glasgow Central are expected to start/terminate at Dumfries.

Is the weather forecast expected to improve?

Showers will continue to batter parts of the UK as yellow and amber warnings for rain remain in place across the country on Thursday.

In mainland Scotland, a yellow weather warning remains in place until 6pm on Thursday, with the Met Office warning there is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded, causing damage to some buildings.

A further 22 flood warnings, where flooding is expected, have been issued across England with one in Scotland.

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Heavy rainfall may also cause delays and cancellations to public transport services, difficult driving conditions and power cuts, the forecaster said.

Regarding staying safe in wet weather, Simon Partridge, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “Although it may not look too bad when you leave home, it could turn much heavier once you’re out and about, so the best thing is to plan your trips and if you don’t need to go – the best advice is to try and avoid it.

“Keep an eye on your local warnings from the Environment Agency, which are just as important as ours as well.”



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