Drivers warned of hazardous road conditions during Storm Ciara
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Dangerous conditions on the roads have prompted a warning to drivers from Highways England.
An amber weather warning is in place for the south west as well as the south east, east, north east, north west and the Midlands between 8am and 9pm today (Sunday, February 9).
Gusts of 60 to 70mph are likely across many inland areas and around 80mph in exposed coastal areas. A spell of heavy rain will affect many regions for a time, making driving conditions particularly poor.
Road users, particularly drivers of high-sided HGVs, caravans and motorcycles, are advised to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out, and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.
Highways England's Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said:
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"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.
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"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."
People driving on exposed sections of the motorway network should take extra care.
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 HGV drivers to open their curtain-sided vehicles if they are empty."