20/10/2004

Drivers urged to take extra care following weather warning

With heavy rain and strong winds affecting the country, particularly in western regions, drivers are being urged to take extra care on the roads over the next few days.

Drivers, especially those on two wheels or in high-sided vehicles, are advised to take extra care during the windy conditions being forecast by the Met Office, and all drivers are reminded to adjust their driving to the poor conditions.

The Highways Agency, which manages, operates and improves motorways and all-purpose trunk roads in England, has warned drivers to slow down, maintain their distance from the vehicle in front, check weather reports, and to test their brakes after driving through floodwater.

The warning comes after Met Office forecasters predicted several days of particularly wet and windy weather for many parts of the country as depressions sweep in from the Atlantic.

Areas most likely to see the heaviest rain are the west of England, Wales and South-west Scotland. Around 50mm of rain is likely for many areas with 100mm falling on high ground during the next few days. Strong winds will add to the problems at times, gusts of around 70mph are expected to batter exposed areas.

The Highways Agency has said that it will be working with the police to ensure that disruption from accidents and incidents is minimised and traffic kept moving.

October is often the stormiest month of the year and the forecast is living up to that reputation. Winter is still some way off however. Contrary to speculation from other sources, Autumn is still well in charge - plumes of warm air occasionally bathing much of the country over the coming days.

Information about roadworks and road conditions on the motorways and trunk roads in England is available from the Highways Agency Information Line on 08457 504030.

(gmcg/mb)

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