Scotland

Travel disruption eases after flooding

Winchburgh Tunnel Image copyright ScotRail
Image caption Water was above rail level in Winchburgh tunnel meaning trains could only travel through at 5mph, causing significant delays

Transport issues are easing off after heavy rain and flooding caused delays across Scotland.

Storms on Saturday and Sunday left many areas waterlogged and made the return to work on Monday morning problematic for many.

Flooding at the Winchburgh tunnel near Linlithgow disrupted travel between Glasgow and Edinburgh and from Edinburgh to Dunblane.

A speed restriction put in place on the line has now been lifted.

Flooding also caused a signalling fault which has been fixed and passengers have been advised that bus replacement services are no longer in place.

The problems at Winchburgh came after the same tunnel was flooded a week ago.

Earlier ScotRail operations director David Simpson told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We had a report of more flood water at Winchburgh at the start of service this morning.

"We sent some engineers to site and they reported the water just above the rail level there.

"We are having to send trains at slower speed through that area, reduce the number of trains and those trains are seeing delays as they pass through the tunnel at a lower speed."

Image caption Passengers at Dunblane faced a challenging commute on Monday morning

Frustrated passengers took to social media complaining that the ground had been lowered in the tunnel to accommodate new electric train tracks.

Mr Simpson said monitoring of the tunnel had taken place across the weekend and pumps were used to remove water.

But he admitted more work was needed to rectify whatever was causing the regular flooding.

He said: "The volume of rain that fell yesterday on top of saturated land over the last few days has caused this.

"We have to look at why we have seen more flooding there and work with our Network Rail colleagues to make that area more resilient.

"The last thing people want on Monday morning is delays and cancellations."

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Flooding closed part of the West Coast mainline on Sunday

He said that as part of an extra £160m investment in weather resilience across Scotland over the next five years, ScotRail would be working with Network Rail to look at targeted problems areas such as Winchburgh.

The West Highland line remains affected by landslips north of Helensburgh.

Routes re-opened to Oban on Monday but south of Crainlarich, several locations required major work.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued 10 flood alerts on Sunday.

Sandbags distributed

Trains were again affected after the West Coast mainline between England and Scotland was closed temporarily due to flooding.

In Ayrshire, warnings were sent out that two of the region's rivers were in danger of breaching their banks.

East Ayrshire Council distributed more than 7,000 sandbags to protect households in the areas around Kilmarnock Water and River Irvine.

The Odeon Cinema in Kilmarnock evacuated dozens of customers mid-film when the River Irvine's banks burst in Queen's Drive.

The town's Asda supermarket was also closed early.

Image copyright Ayrshire Daily News
Image caption Prestwick Airport car park was flooded when holidaymakers returned to pick up their cars

Holidaymakers returning to Prestwick Airport arrived from their flights to find their cars partly submerged in the car park.

David Shearer returned from a weekend in Barcelona at about 23:30 on Sunday and told the BBC news website: "Car park three was closed. It has flooded at about 14:00 and a lot of cars were not drivable. I was lucky , my car was drivable but did have a lot of water in it.

"People were in tears."

A spokesman for Prestwick Airport said: "It happened very quickly. The burn behind the car park filled up and took us all by surprise.

"We towed out the cars which needed it and the water is gone now."

In Dumfries and Galloway, the A7 was shut by a landslide south of Langholm on Saturday - one lane has since reopened and traffic lights are in place at Skippers Bridge.

Central Fife was also experiencing flooding on Monday morning, with Haugh Road in Burntisland closed.

The weather forecast was drier and brighter for Monday, with lighter showers overnight.

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