Ministers in Scotland have thanked workers for getting much of the transport network up and running again.
With the school holidays finishing in Scotland and many people due back at work today, there has been an extensive recovery effort across the road and rail network.
It follows some of the heaviest rain since 1891 and a series of severe weather warnings – including two very rare red warnings for rain for Angus and Aberdeenshire, and three days of ‘Avoid Travel’ advice from Police Scotland.
The latest summary across the network is as follows:
- Most rail services have returned to normal, however, the following lines remain closed: Aberdeen and Dundee, Aberdeen and Elgin, the Fife Circle, Inverness and Wick, Thurso and the Kyle of Lochalsh (which is closed due to planned engineering works).
- Some rail routes may be subject to line speed restrictions on re-opening, so be prepared for delays.
- Many local roads remain flooded or closed, please check with local authorities for the latest information. Bus services could be impacted or diverted, so check with your operator.
- Most of the trunk road network is now open thanks to the efforts of Operating Companies and emergency services who have worked tirelessly since Thursday.
- The A90 remains closed between Dundee and Stonehaven pending structural inspections at various locations. Staff from Amey are working to open the road as soon as possible. Work also continues to reopen the A92 which remains closed between the Forgan Roundabout and the Melville Lodges Roundabout.
- On ferries, services are resuming but check with operators before travelling as local access may be restricted. Similarly, please ensure to check the status of your flight with airlines before travelling.
The Met Office has issued a Yellow Warning for Ice across much of Scotland. The warning is valid from 2100 on Sunday 22 October to 0900 on Monday 23 October 2023. Coupled with the aftermath of three days of intensive rainfall across affected areas – caution is advised when driving.
Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop, said: “Communities across Scotland have endured extremely challenging weather conditions in recent days.
“While our transport network was seriously impacted, we are now in the recovery phase and most of the network is returning to normality.
“This has only happened thanks to the teams across the network who have been working tirelessly in dangerous conditions since Thursday. On behalf of the Scottish Government I would like to express our thanks for their incredible effort.
“Of course such a devastating storm and such significant rainfall means there will inevitably be some ongoing disruption in the days ahead, especially with flooding on local routes and a new warning for ice now issued.
“We stand ready to assist local authorities where we can and would urge the public to remain cautious, plan ahead, and check before travelling.”
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “Thanks to the efforts of Scotland’s Railway’s engineers, the majority of services are back up and running across the country.
“However, the extended impact of Storm Babet, with fallen trees, debris and extensive leaf-fall, is making recovering the railway in some parts of the north, northeast and Fife extremely challenging.
“We want to thank customers for their continuing patience and understanding as we make all possible efforts to inspect routes that are still closed for damage, before reopening them when it is judged safe to do so.
“Please continue to keep an eye on our website, mobile app, or social media channels for live updates before travelling.”
Stein Connelly, from Transport Scotland, said: “I want to thank everyone for listening to the travel advice over the last few days, and for their patience while our road operating companies work to reopen the A90 and A92.
“Engineers had to wait until first light this morning to continue the examination of all bridges and structures affected by water on the A90. This is to ensure that the structures are sound and safe for traffic. That work continues behind the scenes to keep people safe. We don’t have a timeline to reopen yet because levels of water remains too high in some areas. Once those examinations have been completed and engineers determine the extent of any required repairs – we’ll know more about the likely timescale to reopen the road.
“On the A92, teams are working hard to remove water and debris and we expect the road will reopen today, likely with some form of traffic controls in place, once that work is complete.
“It’s going to be a cold night over Sunday and into Monday morning. A Yellow Warning for Ice has been issued by the Met Office. Please plan ahead, continue to check local authorities updates, visit the Traffic Scotland website and ensure you drive to the conditions, with ice expected across much of Scotland.”
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