Drivers using A19 and A1 given Storm Arwen warning as high winds set to hit North East

Drivers are being urged to take care as Storm Arwen is set to see very strong winds hit the North East overnight.

National Highways has issued a Storm Arwen warning to drivers using the A1 and A19.
National Highways has issued a Storm Arwen warning to drivers using the A1 and A19.

Winds are expected to strengthen from the north during Friday night, reaching 50-60mph across Northumberland, Durham and Teesside and reaching 60-70mph along coastal routes.

The A1 and A19, along with the A174 and the trans-Pennine A66, are the key National Highways routes likely to be affected.

National Highways forecasters said winds should slowly ease from the north during Saturday morning.

Motorists, particularly those driving high-sided HGVS, caravans and motorcycles, are advised to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.

National Highways said it strongly advises that these types of vehicles should avoid, if possible, the following sections of road during the severe weather alert:

A1 - Newcastle to Berwick

A66 – Between M6 junction 40 to A1 at Scotch Corner

A19 – Hylton Bridge over the River Wear

A19 – Tees Viaduct

A19 - Leven Viaduct

A174 - Middlesbrough

National Highways operations manager, Andrew Kippax said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys. If you do intend to travel, then plan ahead and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes. We would advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down, or potentially to delay their journey if possible

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 or sections of the road for a period. Please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”