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Road closures and travel chaos as 85mph winds batter Scotland

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Multiple roads have been closed as strong winds with gusts of up to 85mph batter Scotland amid two yellow warnings.

The Met Office said the weather risks “danger to life” as large waves and flying debris are expected to hit coastal areas.

The first warning came into effect at 5am on Wednesday over more northerly parts of the country including Orkney and Shetland, the Highlands, Aberdeenshire Moray and the Western Isles.

The second warning came into force at 9am, with the alert covering the rest of Scotland and northern England.

Forecasters said coastal areas will be affected by spray and large waves during the high winds, with disruption to ferry, bus and train services expected.

A flight expected to arrive at Prestwick Airport was forced to land in Manchester due to the weather.

Disruption to road travel has already commenced with police confirming the A866 Braighe Road in the district of Point in Stornoway was closed around 7.30am on Wednesday.

The A96 was closed in both directions due to fallen power lines on the carriageway.

The northbound carriage on the Tay Bridge was closed due to glass on the road after the window of a bus blew out amid strong winds.

CalMac has cancelled all daily sailings on six of its routes, with others postponed until further notice.

Robbie Drummond, chief executive of CalMac, said: “Today (Wednesday), strong winds and sea swell are preventing us from running normal services and has led to some routes being cancelled or at high risk of cancellation.

“This weather is expected to continue to affect sailings for the remainder of the day.

“We understand that it is a very challenging and difficult time for island communities, with travel and supply chain disrupted. We are constantly looking at options to resume services whenever there’s a weather window that is safe to do so.

“Cancelling a sailing is always a last resort but the safety of customers, our crews, and port staff is our absolute priority.

“We are grateful to the communities who use the network for their patience and understanding during storms, and for our own staff ashore and on the vessels, for doing everything they can to restore services when conditions improve.”

Rail services operating between Aberdeen and Inverurie, Elgin and Inverness and Glasgow Queen Street and Oban have also been affected.

Speed restrictions have also been imposed on some rail services, with passengers warned their journey times will be extended.

A spokesperson for ScotRail advised travellers to stay up to date with their social media channels and website.

“There are some speed restrictions in the north of the country impacted on services.

“These will result in extended journey times, cancellations and amended timetables for each affected line.

“We have buses in place to replace some trains, and we’re asking customers to check their journey before they travel, keeping an eye on our website, app, or social media feeds for live updates,” he told STV News.

Amey SW Trunk Roads also advised drivers to take care when using the Erskine Bridge due to high winds.

Police has confirmed the Baleshare Causeway in North Uist is closed due to current weather conditions.

More northern areas could see damage to homes and businesses, while power cuts could affect services such as mobile phone coverage.

Stormy conditions are expected to die down by the early evening, with the alert for southern areas of Scotland ending at 5pm and the northern alert at 7pm.

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