The National Highways and the Met Office have issued a severe weather warning for high winds covering the entire strategic National Highways road network in England, from 6am to 6pm.
It warns that gusts of 90mph could hit the South West of England and that snow is expected on roads above 200m in the North of England.
National Highways said there is a “particularly high risk” of high-sided vehicles and other “vulnerable” vehicles such as caravans and motorcycles being rolled over.
Those using such vehicles were instructed not to travel over exposed bridges, viaducts and motorways throughout England.
The alert, on the National Motorways website, reads: “The National Motorways, in conjunction with the Met Office, have issued a severe weather warning for high winds covering the entire strategic National Motorways road network between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Friday, February 18, 2022.
“Storm Eunice will track east-northeast across northern England on Friday, bringing a period of unusually strong winds to its southern flank (central and southern England).
“These winds will increase rapidly from the west Friday morning, gusting to 60-70 mph broadly and 70-80 mph along coastal areas and over bridges, but possibly also in a few places inland. Around the Bristol Channel, maximum gusts could reach 90mph (Avonmouth and Severn Bridges).
“These exceptionally strong winds are very likely to cause network disruptions with windblown debris, potential damage to infrastructure including power outages and difficult driving conditions for vulnerable vehicles.
“Ahead of the storm, snow is expected to fall on roads above 200m from Lancashire and Yorkshire northwards (and the southern Pennines with slush deposits of 1-3cm and possibly 10 15 cm above the A66).
“While not enough to warrant an HE alert on its own, gusts of 60-70mph will develop across much of the northwest and northeast by early afternoon with possible disruption here. also.
“The wind is expected to decrease from the southwest from the early afternoon (as they increase north of the Midlands) and then slowly from the west in all areas in the late afternoon – while still being very strong all night long, which can hamper the cleaning work.
“There is a particularly high risk that vehicles with high sides and other ‘vulnerable’ vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be rolled over and should not be driven on the following sections of road”
The M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions due to high winds, National Highways (NH) said.
Drivers have been encouraged to use the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge as an alternative for traveling between England and Wales, although NH said the bridge should be closed around 6am.
The service said the A14 Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will be closed in both directions from 4am and the QEII Bridge in Dartford will be closed from 5am.
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