Severe Weather Alert: Warning to drivers as strong winds forecast

Severe Weather Alert: Warning to drivers as strong winds forecast

Road users in the North East and North West of England are being advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they travel tomorrow morning, Thursday 14 June as strong winds are forecast in the North of England.

As a result of the strong winds Highways England has issued a Severe Weather Alert for users of high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes who are advised to take extra care when travelling due to the increased risk of these vehicles being blown over.

Wind speeds across the north are expected to reach 50mph and occasionally 60mph and over, between 6am and 1pm on Thursday 14 June.

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”

Unladen curtain-sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable to windy conditions on high ground, such as list local areas, bridges etc. from alert.

Richard Leonard added: “Curtains on empty high-sided vehicles can act as sails when closed, and when high winds arise, we advise HGV drivers to open their curtain-sided vehicles if they are empty.”

A Freight Transport Association advisory states “When driving an empty curtain-sided vehicle, tie both curtain sides at one end of the vehicle to reduce the effect of side winds.”

Highways England, which is responsible for motorways and other major roads in England, is working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys.

Drivers are advised to plan for their journey before they set out, checking the forecast and road conditions and to leave extra time if travel conditions are poor, and to delay their journey if the weather becomes severe.

Fore information on the roads in Cumbria visit: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Traffic/Traffic.aspx

Up-to-date information on road conditions on England’s motorways and trunk roads is available on the England website at www.trafficengland.co.uk, on our Regional Twitter feeds @HighwaysNEAST, @HighwaysYorks and @HighwaysNWEST or by calling 0300 123 5000. For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk