BEAR Scotland preparing for high winds in north of Scotland

Issued by BEAR Scotland

Amber weather warnings issued

BEAR Scotland’s resources are prepared to assist in dealing with Storm Barbara with winds of up to 80 or 90mph forecast at exposed locations across the North West on Friday. It will also bring rain, which will fall as sleet and snow on higher routes.

Amber ‘be prepared’ weather warnings have been issued for the Highlands and Eilean Siar by the Met Office valid on Friday from noon until midnight, with yellow ‘be aware’ warnings for high winds in place across parts of Scotland until Boxing Day. 

This week and during the festive period, teams from BEAR Scotland will be working round the clock to maintain the routes with conditions across the network monitored 24/7 by BEAR’s control room.  

Over 100 operatives are on standby at depots across the North West and North East units to deal with any issues on the trunk roads brought by the high winds. Gully tankers, sandbags, and water pumps are available to deal with any flooding issues and chainsaw operatives are also on standby to attend any fallen trees or branches

BEAR Scotland is working closely with Police Scotland and Transport Scotland to respond to the high winds across the north of Scotland.  

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s Representative for the North West, said: “At present we are preparing for the forthcoming high winds across the North West and our teams are on standby to assist with any issues.

“High winds from Storm Barbara are forecast until early next week, with many of our teams working or on stand-by over Christmas to ensure that we are doing whatever we can to keep road users safe and moving throughout the festive break.

“We want everyone to stay safe during the festivities, so we advise motorists to be alert and prepare in advance for the adverse weather by checking travel information via the Traffic Scotland website and local radio before setting off, allowing extra time for journeys and driving to the conditions.”

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on or twitter @trafficscotland.

Advice for driving in high winds

  • Be ready for stronger winds and gusts on exposed stretches of road, or when passing high-sided vehicles.
  • Be aware of any debris such as fallen twigs or branches on the road.
  • Keep your speed down so that strong gusts won’t blow you as far off course.
  • Take care around cyclists and motorcyclists.
  • Keep your distance from other vehicles, especially high-sided vehicles and caravans.
  • Tune-in to the forecast and Met Office weather warnings.
  • Check ahead for road updates via Traffic Scotland.
  • Allow extra time for your journey.
  • Fully charge your mobile phone, and take a charger with you.
  • Make sure you have appropriate clothing, equipment and food.
  • Pack an emergency travel kit which can be kept in your vehicle in case of any adverse weather.  
22 Dec 2016