Highways England has issued an amber weather alert for motorways and major A roads in the North East, with gusts expected to reach 70mph. The alert comes into force at 1am on Friday.
Drivers across the region are being urged to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys today in particular those using exposed locations on the A66 over the Pennines and high spots of the A69. High winds are forecast until 3pm tomorrow.
Andrew Charnick, emergency planning manager at Highways England said:
We issue severe weather alerts when there is a significant risk to vehicles using motorways and major A roads. The amber status means drivers should be prepared before setting out on journeys.
There’s a particular risk to lorries and other vulnerable vehicles, such as caravans and motorbikes, so we’re asking drivers to slow down and to avoid using exposed sections of motorways and other route if possible.
We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys. We will have extra traffic officers and recovery vehicles to help respond to any incidents.
Highways England in partnership with the Met Office is strongly advising that high sided vehicles and other vulnerable vehicles avoid the following areas if at all possible:
- A1(M) junctions 49-65
- A66 between M6 junction 40 and A1 (Scotch Corner)
- A19 Hylton Bridge over the River Wear
- A19 Tees Viaduct and Leven Viaduct;
- A69 – all of it
- A1 north of the A1(M) in Northumberland
- A696 at Tyneside
- A184 – all of it
- A174 – all of it
Road users are being advised to follow messages on the overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting our website or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
More advice on driving in windy weather is available on the Met Office website.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.