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Transport / Gales cancel ferries and block roads

The A968 on Unst will be closed as of 5pm (today, Saturday) due to drifting snow. Photo: SIC

THE FIRST southerly-easterly gales in quite some time are disrupting the NorthLink lifeline ferry service this weekend.

Both of tonight’s sailings are now cancelled, as are all NorthLink services across the Pentland Firth.

Sunday night’s sailings are currently still under review but there is a high possibility of further cancellations, the ferry operator said on Saturday. An update will be given on Sunday morning.

For a detailed weather forecast go to https://www.shetnews.co.uk/weather/sumburgh/ and chose your location from the drop down menu.

Meanwhile, Shetland Islands Council said that the last ferry across Bluemull Sound is due to leave from Gutcher at 3.50pm this afternoon, after a decision was made to close all roads on Unst as of 5pm due to snow blocking the roads in the high winds.

A council statement said: “Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the main A968 road through Unst will close to all through traffic at 5pm today.

“Strong winds are causing significant drifting snow, making driving conditions extremely difficult, particularly around the highest point at Cauldback Hill.

“Council staff will soon cease any snow clearing and gritting operations, except to support any ‘blue light’ emergencies where needed.”