THURROCK drivers are being urged to take extra care on motorways and major A roads overnight and tomorrow morning during Storm Aileen.
Highways England has issued an amber ‘be aware’ alert across the country in response to a Met Office forecast of strong winds and heavy rain, which comes into force at 9pm tonight and runs until 9am tomorrow morning.
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.
Drivers of lorries, caravans and motorbikes are being advised to avoid 53 exposed sections of the road network, including the Humber Bridge, Thelwall Viaduct and Woodhead Pass in the North.
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.”
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.