Warnings issued after forecast of heavy rain and strong wind from Storm Aileen

The Met Office rain and wind warnings.

Drivers are being urged to take extra care on motorways and major A roads overnight and tomorrow morning during Storm Aileen.

Drivers of lorries, caravans and motorbikes are being advised to avoid 53 exposed sections of the road network, including the A66 trasn-Pennine route.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning heavy rain which covers Richmondshire. The warning lasts at 5pm today and runs until 8am on Wednesday.

It has also issued a yellow warning for strong winds for the district lasting from 8pm tonight to 10am tomorrow.

These have promoted Highways England to issue an amber ‘be aware’ alert for the region.

Westerly winds are expected to increase during the this evening into the early hours tomorrow morning with gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour possible over exposed roads during the night.

Winds should begin to decrease during the morning peak period.

The warning for lorries, motorbikes and caravans covers the following roads:

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

Richard Leonard, Head of Road User Safety at Highways England, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with strong winds and heavy rain expected from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.”

Experts say that it generally takes at least twice as long to stop on a wet road as on a dry road because tyres have less grip on the surface. In wet weather you should:

•           Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen

•           Keep well back from the vehicle in front as this will increase your ability to see and plan ahead

•           Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually if the steering becomes unresponsive as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road

Drivers are being advised to follow messages on the overhead signs and listen to radio updates.

Further information can be found by visiting the www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000.