Scottish hauliers face severe disruption as gales bombard Scotland

Posted on 9th December 2011 By Charlotte Haye

Scottish hauliers report significant disruption to services as they battle against gale force winds in the country.

The Met Office has warned that major travel disruption is likely across much of Central Scotland this afternoon due to strong winds of 75-80 miles per hour and potential gusts of up to 90mph.

A red warning has been issued by the Met Office for Central, Tayside, Fife, Strathclyde, south west Scotland and Lothian & Borders.

Transport for Scotland warns such notices are highly unusual, with typically one or two a year, and Transport Minister Keith Brown has described the situation as “a major challenge for our transport system”.

The Road Haulage Association has warned members in the affected areas not to use high-sided vehicles or make all but essential journeys.

Eddie Anderson, managing director of ARR Craib Transport, which operates out of Aberdeen and Cumbernauld, tells CM: “I haven’t seen it this bad in many moons. We’re only making essential journeys and have told customers that remains at the company’s and our drivers’ discretion.”

Derek Mitchell, MD at Caledonian Logistics, reports a 3.5-tonne vehicle carrying a pallet of Coca-Cola running out of the firm’s Inverness depot has been turned over by the wind, with the driver okay but trapped in his cab and adds he is waiting to see how bad it gets at  the company’s Aberdeen base. “We’ve already had two late trunks into Lichfield,” says the Palletways member.

David McCutcheon, MD at Bothwell-based Bullet Express, confirms the firm is effectively shutting up shop for the rest of the day as the paralysis affecting Scotland’s ferry crossings means frustratingly there’s little the company can do. “We’d normally have six or seven trailers heading over to Ireland but the crossing is closed. Customers will be annoyed but there’s nothing we can do.”

Michael Lacey, transport operations manager at Grampian Continental, says the firm is working on, in part as it has few high-sided vehicles and its low-loader trailers aren’t as badly affected. The Aberdeen company reports vehicles stranded at various crossings with a Mercedes Sprinter heading for Denmark currently stuck at the closed Forth Bridge.

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