Storm Gerrit causes travel chaos to roads, railway and ferry networks

The Met Office said the storm was named as a warning to people coming home from the Christmas holidays.

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Travellers across Scotland are facing hazardous conditions amid major disruption as Storm Gerrit batters the country.

Yellow warnings for wind, snow and rain are in place across most of Scotland.

All train services between Edinburgh and Helensburgh Central have been cancelled as a result of a tree falling and blocking the railway at Dumbarton East.

Network Rail confirmed the tree had caught fire, affecting the overhead power lines.

ScotRail warned passengers that Storm Gerrit is bringing “widespread disruption” to multiple routes across Scotland.

Rangers’ Premiership match against Ross County has been postponed due to the weather conditions.

There is also disruption on the ferry network, with NorthLink services across the Pentland Firth to Orkney cancelled as a result of the weather.

CalMac ferries are also subject to delay and suspension across the west coast, with those travelling urged to check if their services are operating.

On the roads, the A82 at Inverlochy near Fort William is closed due to a fallen tree.

The A82 is also closed at Milton, near Dumbarton, due to flooding.

Heavy snow has closed the A9 at Dalnaspidal in Perthshire, with the wintry conditions also affecting other parts of the route.

The Tay Road Bridge is open to single-decker buses and cars only, with a 30mph limit in place.

The central walkway is closed.

A warning for wind which has been in place since 3am on Wednesday covers Angus, Dundee, Fife, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Eilean Siar, Highland, Orkney Islands and Argyll and Bute and is set to last until 11.59pm.

The tree affecting services on a Dumbarton train line. Photo by Network Rail.Network Rail

A second warning for rain and snow, in place from 6am on Wednesday until 9pm, covers Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Fife, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Argyll and Bute, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.

Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire also have a warning in place for heavy rain until 6pm on Wednesday.

The Shetland Islands will face wind and snow overnight with warning in place from 9pm until 6am on Thursday morning.

Transport is expected to be disrupted across the country as a result of the weather.

Network Rail Scotland warned passengers speed restrictions would be in place on Wednesday and to check for cancellations.

ScotRail customer operations director Phil Campbell said: “Unfortunately, we expect disruption to our services due to the adverse weather, and customers can expect some changes to their journeys.

“We will be working closely with our colleagues at Network Rail Scotland to ensure we are able to keep people moving as much as possible, but customers should also expect that their journeys will take longer than usual, and there could be some cancellations. ”

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said the storm was named as a warning to people coming home after the Christmas holidays.

He said: “Due to the extent of the warnings that are being issued, it was deemed that a named storm would be a good idea because it will highlight to the public the risk associated, particularly as tomorrow is likely to be quite a busy day on the roads with people travelling back home from Christmas and things like that.”

A storm is named when it is deemed to have the potential to cause medium or high impacts.

Mr Partridge said wet and windy weather will cover “pretty much the whole of the UK”, with significant snowfall in parts of Scotland.

He said only the central section of the UK does not have a wind warning.

Wind warning areas can expect gusts of 50-60mph, with up to 70mph on high ground and exposed coasts.

There is a chance of power cuts, as well as a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded.

Anywhere above 200 metres in Scotland is likely to see some snow, he added.

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