BEAR Scotland’s response to Storm Arwen

November 30, 2021


When eastern Scotland was hit by Storm Arwen on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November 2021 over 100 operatives from BEAR Scotland and its supply chain worked to deal with the impact on the trunk roads it is responsible for in the North West, North East and South East of Scotland.

The first storm of the winter season saw wind speeds exceeding 90mph in some areas.  The high winds caused a number of trees to fall on or near trunk roads around the country including the A82, A84, A86 and A9 in the North West, the A96 and A90 in the North East and the A7, A68 and A1 in the South East of Scotland.

Major bridges were also affected by the storm, with the Skye Bridge, Dornoch Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge having restrictions in place due to the adverse conditions. However, due to the wind shielding on the Queensferry Crossing, it was able to remain open.

A section of the A1 near East Linton was also closed as a precaution due to the known risk to high sided vehicles in strong wind.

Storm Arwen also brought wintery conditions to many areas across Scotland. Over the weekend, BEAR Scotland’s winter service teams were out in force undertaking precautionary salt treatments with patrols out to monitor the conditions on the roads and act where necessary.

Iain Murray, Managing Director at BEAR Scotland, said: “Our teams worked tirelessly from planning our resources in advance of Storm Arwen to dealing with the many challenges it presented.

“Our 24/7 control rooms, emergency response teams, gritter drivers and supply chain partners worked closely together with the emergency services and Transport Scotland to monitor the conditions of the roads and take the appropriate action when necessary.

“The intensity and widespread nature of it was unprecedented in recent years and I was delighted we were able to reopen all of our roads by mid-day on Saturday. Safety of motorists and our workforce is our priority, so we were pleased to come through the storm with no reported injuries.”

Our teams continue to undertake clear-up operations on the affected routes, as well as undertaking monitoring where required.

We are also providing mutual aid to Scottish Borders Council who have been badly affected by fallen trees.

BEAR has been recognised by its partners and stakeholders and other emergency services for its efforts in keeping the roads as safe as possible for road users throughout the storm.