Storm Ali batters Scotland: Trains cancelled, cruise ship slips mooring, trees fall and debris causes injuries

STORM ALI continues to batter Scotland with huge gusts, some recorded at more than 100mph.

The wild weather has had a huge impact across the countries transport networks, with roads blocked by fallen trees, hundreds of trains cancelled and ferry services suspended.

ScotRail have advised people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

The Forth Road Bridge, Clackmannanshire Bridge, Queensferry Crossing have put restrictions in place, while the Tay Road Bridge is shut to all traffic having recorded winds of 102.2.mph.

School pupils have been banned from walking home in Dumfries and Galloway following several injuries to children caused by flying debris.

Pupils will have to wait to be collected in a vehicle or until after the severe weather subsides before leaving schools, it said.

Damage to buildings has been reported across the country, and a number of cars have been destroyed by fallen trees.

In Greenock, tug boats were called to the Nautica vessel which slipped its berth at the town’s Ocean Terminal.

Strong winds saw the vessel – which had 478 passengers and 26 crew – leave the dock after its mooring lines parted.

There have been no reports of injuries and Greenock Town Hall has offered temporary accommodation for people from the ship until it is brought back to its berth.

The Met Office updated its amber weather warning of wind, saying there is a high likelihood of impacts across a swathe of the UK.

Power cuts and flying debris are possible as the first named storm of the season sweeps through the country.

Storm Ali: Horror as tree crashes through coach with Dundee football team inside – read more from our sister title the Evening Telegraph

The weather alert, which is in place until 6pm on Wednesday, warns that flying debris is likely and could lead to injuries or danger to life.

There is also potential for damage to buildings, fallen trees, travel cancellations, more road closures and large waves in coastal areas.

It covers the southern half of Scotland and the north-east coast.

A less severe yellow warning for wind is in place across the whole of Scotland until Wednesday night.

The Met Office said winds of up to 80mph are expected on parts of the western coast, while inland will see gales of between 65mph and 75mph.

Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway, has had gusts reaching 77 mph.

All vehicles and pedestrians have been stopped from using the Forth Road Bridge, while the Queensferry Crossing has been shut to high-sided vehicles and double-decker buses.

Clackmannanshire Bridge was also closed to high-sided vehicles while restrictions were put in place on the Skye Bridge due to strong gales.

At around 10am part of the A75 in Dumfries and Galloway, near the Collin bypass, was blocked for about an hour due to a fallen tree.

Dumfries and Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) reported similar incidents had occurred across the region.

In pictures: Storm Ali hits Scotland, bringing strong winds and torrential rain for the rest of the day – click here to read more

The Highland main line was shut by rail operators after a freight train was derailed during high winds.

At around 1.40am a northbound service struck tree branches and left the track near Culloden.

No trains are running between Inverness and Perth but ScotRail said they expect the line to reopen in the early afternoon.

A spokesman said: “Specialist engineers and lifting equipment are on their way to the site and we will re-rail the engine and reopen the line as soon as possible.”

Some bus services have also been suspended, as has part of the tramline in Edinburgh, due to the weather.

A section of Princes Street in Edinburgh has been closed after parts of a shop roof flew off in strong winds.

Police Scotland was alerted to lead falling from the Topshop building at around 12.30pm on Wednesday.

A cordon has been put in place on the eastern part of the street.

Meanwhile, South Bridge Street has been shut between Chambers Street and the High Street after lead fell from the Tron Kirk at around 12.10pm.

There have been no injuries in either incident.

Morotists have been urged to be careful on the roads

North-east road policing inspector Neil Morrison said: “Conditions are very blustery at the moment and the high winds are expected to remain in our area until later this evening.

“I would urge all motorists to drive carefully and with caution, especially on country roads where potential hazards could be around corners.

“Reduce your speed and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front.”

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