The severe conditions are forecast to last until Thursday morning, with a second storm then expected on Friday.
16 February 2022
Trains and ferry services have stopped running in many parts of Scotland as a precaution as strong winds and rain from Storm Dudley hit the country.
ScotRail wound down almost all services from 4pm on Wednesday amid fears of falling trees and blowing debris as wind speeds are expected to reach more than 80mph.
Ferries have also been severely disrupted, with 20 of the 29 routes experiencing cancellations.
Historic Scotland announced the early closure of eight of its sites on Wednesday afternoon, including Edinburgh, Stirling and Blackness castles, Glasgow Cathedral, and Melrose Abbey.
Met Office amber weather warnings are in place across central and southern Scotland for Storm Dudley, which is then expected to be followed by Storm Eunice on Friday with even stronger winds and heavy snow forecast.
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney earlier warned the coming days will be “very challenging” as a result of the two storms.
“We expect another period of disruption this week, with storms Dudley and Eunice set to bring strong winds to Scotland,” Mr Swinney said.
“High winds may cause issues on roads and bridges, disruption to power supplies and danger from falling trees.
“We would urge everyone to plan their journeys in advance, exercise caution on the roads, and follow the latest travel advice.”
Train services in the far north, Kyle of Lochalsh, and Aberdeen-Inverness lines are still scheduled to run as usual because the areas are outside the boundaries of the weather warning, but other routes will not resume until at least Thursday morning.
A ScotRail statement said: “We know the impact that the earlier withdrawal of services will have on customers but it’s a necessary step to ensure the safety of our staff and customers due to the severe weather.
“The strength of the winds expected could damage infrastructure, blowing debris and trees on to tracks and damaging equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.
“Network Rail will have additional engineers out across the network ready to react to problems and will check all affected lines for damage before reintroducing services as quickly as possible.
“Disruption on some lines is expected to continue until mid-morning on Thursday.”
Robert Morrison, ferry operator CalMac’s director of operations, said: “This will be the fourth week of extreme and unprecedented weather disruptions.
“We shared last week that this is taking place when other factors are affecting our service – including technical faults, overhaul, and the continuing but lesser effects of Covid-19.
“We know we cannot control every factor, but we want to stress to our customers again that we do understand how much you and the communities we serve rely on our services.
“Ensuring ferries work as they should is our priority and we are working hard to ensure we limit the impact of this upcoming period of disruption as much as we can and protect the lifeline service we deliver.”