Driving Conditions

Approaching winter, the Comhairle would like to highlight the importance of being prepared for variable road conditions.

Over the past number of weeks we have experienced heavy/persistent rainfall, gale force winds and high tides, which have resulted in various degrees of travel disruption and difficult driving conditions.

The Comhairle receives weather warnings from the Met Office, which it shares on social media. SEPA has also launched a Flood Warning Notification System (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) targeted at specific areas throughout the Western Isles that is open for all to subscribe to.

 Surface water presents a hazard on roads and can be of unknown depth. The Comhairle does work proactively to minimise the effects of heavy or persistent rainfall on the road network, however also relies on landowners to maintain adjacent drainage systems. There is also a point at which drainage infrastructure simply does not have the capacity to deal with deluges of rainfall. Thankfully these instances are infrequent, and in general, flooding abates relatively quickly.

Coastal areas, and particularly causeways, are vulnerable to wave overtopping under certain tidal conditions and wind direction. SEPA’s Flood Alert system is a useful source of information on this subject. As wave overtopping can carry sea and coastal debris with it, Police Scotland may take the view that roads should be closed for safety reasons. A camera has recently been installed at the Braighe causeway. (Bràighe Camera Live Images and Bràighe Camera Video Stream)

Survey work is ongoing to determine the feasibility of similar installations at other causeways throughout the Western Isles.

The first forecast chilly blast was for early this morning reminding us that we are in the winter season. (Comhairle Gritting Policy and Plan)

Please familiarise yourself with the routes and times of treatment.

Road conditions can change quickly so please:

  • keep an eye on weather forecasts
  • prepare yourself and your vehicle for your journey
  • anticipate warning signs and change driving to suit conditions

There are many on-line resources providing advice on winter and bad weather driving, and the Comhairle will be launching a specific campaign in the near future.

Please stay safe on the roads and notify us of any road related issues on 01851 600 502 or e-mail enquiries@cne-siar.gov.uk

Faire can also handle enquiries outwith normal working hours on 01851 701702.