High winds warning to drivers

Date: Wednesday 13th June 2018

DRIVERS are being urged to take extra care in high winds which are set to hit the North of England tomorrow morning.

Highways England is advising motorists, particularly those driving high-sided lorries, caravans and motorcycles, to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.

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

Routes likely to be affected in Eden include the A66 and M6 where gusts are expected up to 60mph.

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.

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

Road users are being advised to follow messages on any overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting www.trafficengland.com or calling the Highways England information line on 0300 123 5000.