Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Scottish schools in storm shutdown

Schools are expected to close and road users were warned to expect delays as storm force winds hit parts of Scotland

Schools across Scotland are expected to shut as storm-force winds look "almost certain" to close key routes around the country.

The Scottish Government said schools in the west, central and southern areas may not open or close early, following expert advice which could see motorists warned to avoid travelling altogether.

The Government said its Resilience Committee met on Wednesday night and ministers, along with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), heard from the Met Office's chief forecaster and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos).

Winds of up to 100mph have been forecast, with the strongest gusts expected to hit the west of Scotland and the central belt from 12pm and from 3pm in the east of the central belt, affecting rush hour. The gales, which will continue into the evening, are expected to arrive as early as 7am.

Ministers have advised councils in the west of the country not to open schools in the morning, while those in the east have been advised that they should close at 12pm ahead of the worst of the weather.

The Government said travel conditions could be "dangerous" and that road users may experience severe delays of several hours or more. In particular, high sided vehicles, HGVs and buses are advised not to travel during the periods specified.

ScotRail and Network Rail said speed restrictions of 50mph may be put in place from 10am on Wednesday.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "All commuters are advised that if they can adjust their working pattern to reflect the latest weather and travel advice or work from home that would be a very sensible step to help avoid possible traffic disruption. The authorities are all working hard to keep Scotland moving."

The following councils have been advised not to open schools: Argyll and Bute; East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Renfrewshire; Glasgow City; Inverclyde; North Ayrshire; Renfrewshire; South Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; South Lanarkshire; West Dunbartonshire; Dumfries and Galloway; Western Isles, and western parts of the Highlands and Islands

These councils have been advised to close at 12pm: Falkirk; East Lothian; Edinburgh City; Midlothian; Scottish Borders; West Lothian; Stirling; Fife; Clackmannanshire, and southern parts of Perth and Kinross.

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