National Highways and the Met Office have issued a severe weather alert for strong winds covering the whole of the National Highways strategic road network in England, from 6am to 6pm.
It warns that 90mph gusts could hit South West England and snow is expected on routes above 200m in the North of England.
National Highways said there is a “particularly high risk” that high-sided vehicles and other “vulnerable” vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over.
Those using such vehicles were told not to travel on bridges, viaducts and exposed highways throughout England.
The alert, on the National Highways Website reads: “National Highways in collaboration with The Met Office have issued a severe weather alert for strong winds covering the whole of National Highways strategic road network between the hours of 06:00 and 18:00 on Friday 18th February 2022.
“Storm Eunice will track east-northeast across northern England on Friday, bringing a spell of exceptionally strong winds on its southern flank (central and southern England).
“These winds will increase quickly from the west on Friday morning, gusting 60-70mph widely and 70-80mph along coastal areas and over bridges but possibly over a few inland locations too. Around the Bristol Channel peak gusts could touch 90 mph (Avonmouth and Severn Bridges).
“These unusually strong winds are highly likely to cause disruption across the network with wind blown debris, potential damage to infrastructure including power failures and make for tricky driving conditions for vulnerable vehicles.
“Ahead of the storm snow is expected to fall on routes above 200m from Lancashire and Yorkshire northwards (and the southern Pennines with 1-3 cm slushy deposits and perhaps 10-15 cm over the A66).
“Though this isn’t enough to warrant a HE Alert in it’s own right, 60-70 mph gusts will develop across much of the North West and North East early afternoon with disruption possible here also.
“The wind is expected to decrease from the southwest from early afternoon (as they are increasing north of the Midlands) and then slowly from the west across all regions by late afternoon – though staying very strong through the night which may hamper clear up work.
“There is a particularly high risk that high-sided vehicles and other ‘vulnerable’ vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over and should not travel on the following sections of roads”
The M48 Severn Bridge has been closed in both directions due to strong winds, National Highways (NH) said.
Drivers were encouraged to use the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge as an alternative to travel between England and Wales, though NH said the bridge is expected to be closed around 6am.
The service said the A14 Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will be closed in both directions from 4am with the QEII Bridge in Dartford closed from 5am.
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