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Storm Arwen bringing disruption to roads and railways

By Gavin Musgrove

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Social media reports of a tree on the road on the A9 by Ralia at the southern end of Badenoch.
Social media reports of a tree on the road on the A9 by Ralia at the southern end of Badenoch.

Motorists are being urged to drive with caution as Storm Arwen approaches Scotland's shores.

The Met Office has issued a rare red weather warning for coastal areas in the north-east of Scotland as the storm will bring high winds and disruption for much of the UK.

Badenoch and Strathspey is now expected to miss the worst of the weather although there remains an amber warning in place for wind and snow will continue.

There were reports of a tree blocking part of the A9 at the gateway into Badenoch an hour ago.

Highland League club Strathspey Thistle's home match to Huntly tomorrow afternoon has been called off due to the pitch being snowbound.

The fixture has been rearranged for December 4 with a 3pm kick-off.

In the areas expected to be hit hardest by the storm, motorists are being urged to only travel if absolutely necessary.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is advising customers to defer any travel on their services if possible this weekend.

As a result tickets will also be valid on their services this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Network Rail has imposed emergency speed restrictions as the extreme weather conditions begin to impact the East Coast route.

The line north of Berwick upon Tweed will be closed to services from 5pm.

Further closures as a result of the extreme weather are possible elsewhere on the East Coast route.

Services that can operate face extended journey times, and short notice delays and cancellations are expected.

Warrick Dent, LNER safety and operations director, said: “We are encouraging our customers with tickets dated for today and this coming weekend, to defer their travel arrangements where possible.

“We expect services to be extremely busy throughout the weekend and advise customers to check our website and social channels for the latest information.”

LNER has apologised to customers for disruption impacting customer journeys today and across the weekend.

Anyone who decides against making a journey can claim a refund from the original point of purchase.

The rare red weather warning for wind was added to existing amber and yellow wind warnings at lunchtime, with coastal areas on the east coast of Scotland and the northeast of England set to see the most disruptive winds, with gusts expected in excess of 80mph.

It came into force at 3pm and will last until 2am tomorrow.

The northerly wind is expected to cause damage to coastal areas, with exceptionally large waves possible in the northeast, resulting in likely significant damage and hazards from beach material being thrown near the coastline.

People should stay away from the coast as waves and debris are a danger to life.

Met Office Expert Meteorologist Daniel Rudman said: “Storm Arwen is associated with a deep low pressure system that will impact the northeast most significantly from Friday, but will also bring wider impacts to the UK with high winds, rain and snow probable, especially over higher ground.

“The most significant impacts from Storm Arwen will be the high winds that much of the UK will see on Friday and in to Saturday, with gusts possible in excess of 80mph in exposed coastal areas, especially in the northeast.

“Coupled with the high winds, Storm Arwen is bringing the potential for rain, sleet and snow.

"The snow will likely be seen the most in the high ground in the north, but there’s a chance of some lower level impacts towards some southern areas, which is reflected with the yellow warnings for snow we have issued.”

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