Forth Road Bridge closed to traffic due to 'gale force winds exceeding 65mph'

The Forth Road Bridge has been closed to all traffic while those on the coast have been warned of a 'danger to life' from wave overtopping.

Forth Road Bridge closed to traffic due to ‘gale force winds exceeding 65mph’ iStock

Update: The bridge has now reopened to permitted vehicles, except double-decker buses, vehicles with trailers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

A major bridge has been closed to all traffic and a “danger to life” warning has been issued for those living near the coast amid Storm Kathleen.

The Forth Road Bridge has been closed to all traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians, due to gale force winds exceeding 65mph.

A decision was made around 3.50pm to close the bridge completely.

The route had been closed to all traffic except taxis without trailers and single-deck buses earlier on Saturday afternoon.

The decision comes as Scotland continues to feel the impact of Storm Kathleen which is expected to bring winds of up to 70mph – and potentially the hottest day of the year so far.

About 70 flights departing and arriving at UK airports before midday on Saturday were cancelled as the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for wind.

SEPA has issued 18 regional flood alerts and 40 local flood warnings stating that there is a “real danger to life” from wave overtopping.

Vincent Fitzsimons, SEPA’s Flood Duty Manager, said: “Across the weekend, Scotland is braced for impacts from Storm Kathleen including very high winds and coastal flooding in western areas.  Flooding impacts are expected across western coastal areas throughout the weekend.

“Impacts start in the Solway coast and Firth of Clyde on Saturday and then move around the coast to the eastern side of the country over the next few days.  Of particular concern is likely impact to communities in the Western Isles and Orkney late Saturday and across Sunday.

“On top of already high tides, Kathleen will bring a storm surge and large waves. This combination is particularly dangerous – especially around high tides.

“There is real danger to life from wave overtopping, particularly around causeways, coastal roads and paths.  Disruption to travel and infrastructure is possible, as is isolated flooding to coastal properties and communities.

“While the risk is greatest around high tide times, our message is clear:  take extra care if you are near the coast at any point and stay well clear of waves and water.  Be careful when travelling around exposed coastal areas and don’t walk or drive through flood water as there may be hidden hazards.

“Flood Alerts and Warnings are in place so stay up to date though our website. We will continue to work with the Met Office to monitor the situation 24/7 and review regional Flood Alerts and local Flood Warnings as required.

“We advise people to sign up to Floodline to receive free updates for where they live, or travel through, directly to their phone. People can also check our flood updates for all the latest information and view the three-day Scottish Flood Forecast to see what conditions are expected further ahead.” 

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