THE Highways Agency has issued a severe weather warning as the North East braces itself for strong winter winds.
Drivers are advised to take extra care on the regions’s road network from Wednesday morning, with wind speeds expected to reach 70mph.
Gales are expected to arrive from 8am on Wednesday until 9am on Thursday. Gusts of over 50mph are expected along the coast and over the Pennines from sunrise on Wednesday, with winds strengthening throughout the morning up to 70mph.
Hail, sleet and snow showers are also forecast, especially over the higher Pennine routes, where drivers can expect blizzard conditions.
Visibility will be significantly reduced during the showers and also from the spray.
Andrew Olive, winter services manager at the Highways Agency, said: “We’re expecting high winds across the region from Wednesday morning so we’re urging motorists to allow extra time for their journeys and to drive at appropriate speeds.
“If your journey isn’t essential then it may be better to travel at a different time, especially if you’re driving a lorry, caravan or motorbike as these vehicles are particularly vulnerable in high winds.
“Drivers should also check fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres before setting off to make sure their vehicles are as safe as possible.”
There is a particularly high risk that high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes could be blown over in the strong winds. Drivers of these kinds of vehicles are strongly advised to avoid the following roads if at all possible:
• A1(M) J47-J49 between A59 Knaresborough and A168 Dishforth
• A1(M) J58-J65 between A1 and Washington at J65
• A66 between M6 J40 - A1 (Scotch Corner)
• A19 Hylton Bridge over River Wear
• A19 Tees Viaduct
• A19 Leven Viaduct
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