Henry to hammer Scotland with widespread transport disruption expected


The north of the UK is to get yet another hammering when Storm Henry sweeps in today, bringing treacherous conditions and high winds of up to 90mph.

Some train services in Scotland have already been suspended for this afternoon, leading to a potentially difficult evening commute for some, and ferry passengers have been warned to expect widespread disruption.

The latest trouble comes just after the country saw off Storm Gertrude, which brought gusts of more than 100mph in places as well as heavy rain and snow.

The Met Office has issued amber "be prepared" alerts for wind covering Scotland from 3pm on Monday until Tuesday morning.

Gusts of 70-80mph are now expected widely, while 90mph is possible in the most exposed areas, especially across the Western Isles and along the west coast.

Warnings for wind at the lesser yellow "be aware" level are also in place for the whole of the northern UK and Northern Ireland from Monday morning. And yellow alerts have been issued for rain in northern and central areas of Scotland.

The Met Office said: "Another rapidly deepening area of low pressure is expected to push quickly across the Atlantic and run close to the north of Scotland through Monday and into Tuesday. Some very strong west to southwesterly winds are expected to develop on the southern and western flanks of this low pressure system, affecting much of Scotland."

Forecasters cautioned that some very large waves are also expected, which may lead to localised flooding of coastal roads and causeways.

"Be prepared for some potentially severe conditions, causing transport disruption, some structural damage, difficult driving conditions and disruption to power supplies," they warned.

Train operator ScotRail said some of its services will only operate until early afternoon on Monday, before being suspended until the end of the day.

It means that people who use those services in the morning will have to make alternative arrangements for any same-day return journeys.

The services being suspended from 2pm are Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh; the West Highland Line; and Glasgow to Killwinning, Ardrossan Harbour and Largs.

Trains from Helensburgh Central and Dumbarton Central to Edinburgh will be suspended from 3pm.

Jacqueline Taggart, of ScotRail Alliance, said: "Once again we find ourselves preparing for extreme weather conditions hitting the country. Last week Storm Gertrude brought incredibly high winds and treacherous conditions to Scotland - and it looks as though Storm Henry is going to do the same.

"We have been working closely with the Met Office and they have advised us that conditions will worsen as the day progresses. This means that any impact on our services will be felt later in the day.

"I would really urge people to look at their travel plans for the whole day. We will be running services in the morning that, due to Storm Henry, we will be unable to run in the afternoon. So, please do make arrangements for both your outward and return journeys."

Caledonian MacBrayne is advising ferry passengers to check ahead for disruptions across its ferry network.

Ross Moran, operations general manager, said: "Storm Henry is set to present significant operational challenges.

"As with any adverse weather, we would ask passengers to consider whether their journey is absolutely necessary and to regularly check for route disruptions across the network."

Scotland's Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: "Our Multi-Agency Response Team, based at the National Traffic Scotland Control Centre which has been in operation throughout the weekend will remain in place to monitor events and respond as required.

"Our fleet of patrol vehicles and gritters are treating roads where needed around the clock to help keep roads open to traffic, but quickly changing conditions means journeys could be disrupted."