Storm Ciara hits rail and ferry services across Scotland

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Rail and ferry services in Scotland were disrupted as Storm Ciara brought heavy wind and rain to the UK.

Authorities had already warned the storm was likely to cause “significant disruption” after the Met Office issued yellow warnings of strong winds across Scotland on Sunday with gusts of up to 80mph possible in some areas.

Heavy rain resulted in flooding in the Whitesands area of Dumfries, after the River Nith burst its banks.

Elsewhere ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne suspended or cancelled many of its services, as the west of the country bore the brunt of the bad weather.

Train operator ScotRail said it had suspended services between Kilwinning and Largs and Ardrossan “due to the severe weather conditions”.

Meanwhile Avanti West Coast, which runs rail services between London and Scotland, took the decision not to run trains north of Preston, as a result of the impact of Storm Ciara.

And the A78 road northbound between Largs and Skelmorlie in Ayrshire was also closed due to flooding.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is telling us that we are facing a prolonged period of adverse weather, with Storm Ciara bringing strong winds and rain to most of Scotland this weekend.

“We’re also being told to expect snow and high winds throughout Monday and on Tuesday morning, so there is the potential for significant disruption on the trunk road network, as well as other modes of transport.

“It’s important that people check the latest information before they set off, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issued 15 flood alerts and 60 flood warnings.

Nigel Goody, Sepa duty flood manager, said: “Storm Ciara has arrived with a dangerous combination of high tides, high storm surge and high inshore waves across coastal areas.

“Avoid crashing waves and follow the advice of emergency services and local councils.”

Inspector Davy Hynd of Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit said: “There is a high risk of disruption in the affected area and, if you do travel, you are likely to experience significant delays.

“If you must travel please plan your route, as well as alternative routes, in advance.”

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