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Restrictions as flagship due on Clyde

By Gordon Neish

Airspace is set to be restricted, some GPS systems jammed and roads closed as the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives on the Clyde tomorrow (Monday).

Scotland’s airspace will be restricted from 5am on March 14 until 11.59pm on March 20, when the 65,000-tonne vessel is set to begin its return to Portsmouth.

The restriction applies across a large area of the Firth of Clyde as well as Loch Long, with no aircraft allowed below 6,000 feet.

Argyll and Bute councillors were told on Thursday that the section of the road between Garelochhead and Arrochar, passing the Ministry of Defence’s ammunitions jetty at Glen Mallan on Loch Long, will be closed to all traffic for at least part of the time between Monday and Friday.

The closure notice also applies to the C69 road linking the A814 and the A82 via Glen Douglas.

The ship has been undergoing maintenance after a seven-month mission, but is now returning to sea.

Captain Ian Feasey Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: “We return to sea today as the United Kingdom’s Very High Readiness Strike Carrier for routine operational activity and training.

“The hard work of both my ship’s company and our supporting industrial partners has improved the condition of the Fleet Flagship.”

A spokesperson for the Royal Navy added: “During this short stint at sea, training will focus on individual, team and whole ship exercises as well as working with commando-carrying Merlin helicopters from RNAS Yeovilton-based 846 Naval Air Squadron.

“The ship will be conducting further exercises and training later in the year as the carrier is kept at very high readiness to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.”

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