SEVERE WEATHER WARNING

Wild weather is expected on Saturday.
Wild weather is expected on Saturday.
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The Met Office has upgraded its weather warnings to an amber alert for gale force winds with gusts around 80 mph expected across much of Scotland tomorrow.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Deputy First Minister John Swinney will attend a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience team this afternoon, joined by Transport Minister Derek Mackay, as well as representatives from Transport Scotland, local resilience partnerships, SEPA, Met Office and other key organisations who will provide an update on their preparations.

Transport Scotland is activating the Multi-Agency Response Team (MART) to monitor the conditions. The MART, which involves partner organisations such as Police Scotland and the Met Office, is being co-ordinated at the Traffic Scotland Control Centre in South Queensferry with access to the best technology available to monitor the situation and react accordingly.

Users of the Forth Road Bridge are warned to expect significant disruption on Wednesday December 10 due to very strong winds, with the bridge expected to be closed to all vehicles except cars throughout the day.

Public transport is likely to be affected, with winds forecast in excess of the level at which buses would be permitted to cross.

Hauliers are advised to plan an alternative route.

Car drivers are advised to check the weather forecast and adjust their travel plans as required.

The bridge is also expected to be closed to cyclists and pedestrians for most of the day.

Barry Colford, Chief Engineer, said: “The Met Office produces a site-specific weather forecast for the Forth Road Bridge using the very best data available. Although there is some margin for error, the latest forecast indicates winds at a level that would cause significant disruption to bridge traffic.

“We don’t expect the bridge to close to cars, but we would still advise all bridge users to keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly.”

Bridge users are advised to follow Forth Road Bridge on Twitter or Facebook and to check the bridge website www.forthroadbridge.org before travel. For information on the wider network follow Traffic Scotland or visit www.trafficscotland.org