'Do not travel' warning ahead of heavy rain and life-threatening flooding

The Met Office has issued an amber weather alert for flooding and heavy rain presenting a danger to life.

Travel warnings issued by Scottish Government ahead of heavy rain and life-threatening flooding Getty Images

Scots have been urged not to travel and to plan ahead amid a warning of life-threatening flooding over the weekend.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather alert for flooding and heavy rain presenting a danger to life.

Scottish Government Resilience Room officials met on Friday to gather and assess the latest updates from the Met Office, SEPA, Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and utilities ahead of the warning being implemented.

Justice secretary and minister for resilience Angela Constance said: “The potential impacts of this amber warning for rain are severe so people need to plan ahead and pay close attention to all travel advice, which is likely to be updated over the course of the weekend.

“Flood alerts are also in place and residents in affected areas should stay clear of any floodwater and consider making a flood plan for their homes or business. Information and advice is available on the Ready Scotland website.

“The Scottish Government and partners will continue to monitor the situation closely and Ministers are being kept updated.”

Prolonged downpours are expected to lead to widespread disruption across central Scotland from early on Saturday morning.

STV meteorologist Sean Batty warned that up to three weeks of rain could fall from Saturday into Sunday.

Flood alerts have been issued across 14 areas of the country by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

It comes after the Met Office issued multiple yellow warnings throughout the week.

The amber warning for rain covers Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Lochaber, parts of Stirling, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

It comes into force at 3am on Saturday and continues until 6am on Sunday. A yellow warning for rain remains in place for large parts of central and northern Scotland throughout Saturday until early on Sunday morning.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) called the weather a “major rainfall event”.

ScotRail has also warned customers that there will be significant disruption to services on Saturday, including in the Highlands and central Scotland, and in the Glasgow, Perth, and Stirling areas.

Services will be suspended from 1am on Saturday until Sunday morning on the West Highland line from Oban, Mallaig and Fort William, Helensburgh Central/Balloch to Dalmuir line and the Highland Mainline between Perth and Inverness.

Services between Dalmuir and Glasgow will operate.

For those routes, ScotRail is advising customers not to travel as no rail replacement travel is available.

Most other routes across the network will be affected by speed restrictions as a safety precaution meaning services may be subject to delay or cancellation.

Customers are advised that they should travel only when necessary, to expect delays, and to check their journey before travelling.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for heavy rain for parts of Scotland, which could see over a month’s worth expected to fall on areas of the Highlands and central Scotland, as well as Glasgow, Perth, and Stirling.

“We know the impact that the withdrawal of some train services will have on customers but it’s a necessary step to ensure the safety of our staff and customers due to the severe rainfall.

“As a precautionary measure in order to keep our customers and staff safe, speed restrictions will also be in place across most routes in Scotland, which will result in extended journey times.

“Customers are advised that they should travel only when necessary, and for those that do, they should check their journey before travelling, and keep an eye on our website, app or social media feeds for live updates.”

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