Scotland will be hit by gales and snow storms today after many hours of weather-induced chaos yesterday that included the Forth Road Bridge being closed all day.
Police Scotland have confirmed that a 54-year-old man has been charged with dangerous driving following the closure of the bridge in both directions for several hours after the lorry toppled over in high winds.
Signs warning that the bridge was closed to HGVs were in operation at the time the incident took place just after 2am. The Currie European lorry was entangled with the central reservation barrier and was only lifted clear in the late afternoon, with bridge operators Amey saying repairs would take several hours. Speaking after a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience team this morning, which was chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf said: “This morning we witnessed a very serious incident on the Forth Road Bridge and the consequences of ignoring travel advice during severe weather warnings. Luckily no one was seriously injured, however a great deal of disruption has been caused and it is an extreme but timely reminder of the importance of listening to advice and checking travel bulletins”
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Elsewhere the Dornoch, Erskine, and Skye bridges were all closed to high-sided vehicles and there were restrictions in place on other bridges and exposed roads.
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said most of its west coast routes were affected yesterday. Arran was cut off and there were no sailings to or from Barra, Colonsay, Cumbrae, Gigha, Iona, Islay, Lismore, Mull, Skye and the Small Isles.
The Met Office reported that gusts of 77mph were recorded on Tiree, with a 73mph gust in South Uist and 70mph winds at Machrihanish on Kintyre.
Today’s weather looks likely to be much worse, and severe weather warnings have been issued for wind and snow, with the heaviest and most frequent snow showers likely across northern and western Scotland, Northern Ireland and around Irish Sea coasts, with inland areas and eastern coasts to be affected later.