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 Wednesday, 15 January, 2003, 16:23 GMT
Scotland hit by storms
MV Hrossey
A number of ferry services have been suspended
High winds have caused disruption in many parts of Scotland, with ferries cancelled, bridges closed and drivers urged to take care.

Ferries to the islands of Iona, Gigha, and Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides were suspended, with the next sailing to Colonsay not scheduled until Friday.

The Small Isles of Rhum, Muck, Eigg and Canna, as well as the Isle of Raasay, off Skye, were also deprived of their services as winds of up to 90mph battered northern areas.

Operator Caledonian MacBrayne said it was playing "catch up" with its services and advised passengers to check with their departure port before setting off.

Skye Bridge
A weather warning was issued for the Skye Bridge
A CalMac spokesman said: "The situation in the west coast is pretty awful.

"It was exactly the same day last year that we were hit by a bad storm as well but we are hoping it won't develop like it did last year."

Gale force winds of more than 60mph were forecast across Scotland, with the worst of the weather expected to be in the Western Isles.

West coast ferry services were the hardest hit, although NorthLink Ferries cancelled sailings between Scrabster and Stromness after 0900 GMT.

Weather warnings

Shetland Ferries said no services were running to the remote islands of Foula and Fair Isle.

Ferries to the Western Isles, Islay and Mull were also severely affected by the weather.

Motorists were urged to take extra care in the treacherous conditions, with weather warnings in place on the Skye Bridge and the Kessock Bridge in Inverness.

The Forth Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles and a 40mph speed limit imposed on other traffic, while the Tay Bridge was restricted to cars and single decker vehicles with a speed restriction of 30mph.

In Aberdeenshire a lorry driver was treated for minor injuries after his truck blew into a field between Fettercairn and Laurencekirk.

Ferry and air services to Orkney and Shetland were disrupted, some schools were closed and in the Cairngorms, stormy conditions forced the closure of the funicular railway and the mountains.

See also:

03 Nov 02 | Scotland
22 Oct 02 | Scotland
22 Oct 02 | Scotland
22 Oct 02 | UK
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