Alert! Weather warning for motorists

Severe weather expected to hit South West this afternoon.

The Highways Agency is advising road users to drive with extra care today (Monday), in the light of the severe weather which has been forecast across southern England from this afternoon.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather alert, forecasting both heavy rain and strong winds across the south of the country, starting in the South West this afternoon, and moving to the South East and East Anglia through the evening and overnight. Up to 50mm of rain is expected in places, with winds gusting at up to 70mph.

The Highways Agency has issued an amber warning for drivers of vulnerable vehicles to avoid particularly exposed parts of the network such as the M4/M48 Severn Crossings in the South West, the M25/A282 Dartford Crossing in the South East and the A14 Orwell Bridge near Ipswich.

All drivers are advised to check conditions before they set out, and to drive appropriately for the conditions. The alert comes into effect at 4pm today until 5am on Tuesday morning.

Highways Agency severe weather manager Mark Clark told the Midweek Herald: “The Highways Agency is working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions and keep the road network running safely. But drivers have a role to play too. High sided vehicles, those towing caravans or trailers and motorbikes are particularly susceptible to windy conditions, but a sudden gust of wind can catch any driver out so it is important that people drive with extra care and leave plenty of extra space between vehicles. When the road is wet, it can take up to twice as long to stop so it makes sense to slow down when it is raining.

“There could also be the chance of aquaplaning if drivers drive too fast in the heavy rain conditions expected. Please ensure you slow down, give yourself and others plenty of braking distance and drive with dipped headlights in reduced visibility conditions.”

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“Conditions look set to remain difficult for the rest of the week,”