High winds cause power cuts and disruption on transport

Strong winds have been causing power cuts and disruption for travellers in parts of Scotland.

The trouble came as a Met Office yellow "be aware" warning for wind remained in place for the northern part of Scotland, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland until Tuesday morning.

Police Scotland has urged drivers to take care, with gusts of 65mph to 75mph in the far north and north-east of the country.

On Monday evening, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said around 3,000 households had experienced power cuts in Orkney and the north-east of Scotland, in areas such as Elgin and Huntly.

Damage to overhead lines and falling trees were said to be behind the problem.

A spokeswoman said work was being carried out to restore supplies, with the firm hopeful the households will have power restored before midnight.

Also on Monday, the Dornoch Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles, and there were restrictions on other bridges such as the Tay Road Bridge and Kessock Bridge.

Ferry operator CalMac had to cancel some sailings on routes including the Ardrossan to Brodick service, Ullapool to Stornoway connection and Mallaig/Oban to Lochboisdale route due to the adverse weather conditions.

Some NorthLink services connecting the mainland and the Northern Isles were also affected by the weather.

ScotRail said train services between Inverness and Wick, and Montrose and Aberdeen were having to be cancelled or run at a reduced speed because of the high winds.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had two flood alerts in place on Monday evening, for Orkney and the Western Isles.

The Met Office warning continues to advise of the likelihood of delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, as well as some short terms loss of power.

Police have told drivers in the north of the country to take care on the roads.

Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie, of the road policing division, said: "Police Scotland is advising all drivers to travel with extra caution and ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions, making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours.

"Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.

"If you are driving a vehicle which may be vulnerable to being blown over in such conditions along exposed routes including bridges, please exercise additional caution and plan your route to avoid exposed areas or consider cancelling your journey until conditions improve."

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