Drivers issued ‘urgent warning’ ahead of Storm Arwen’s arrival

Drivers are being warned to take care on the roads this evening as Storm Arwen threatens to batter parts of the country.

The Met Office has issued a rare red weather alert for the east coast of Scotland and north-east of England, with these areas set to be hit by gusts of up to 80mph.

The warning is scheduled to be in place from 3pm Friday afternoon until 2am Saturday morning.

However, strong winds are expected to continue into Saturday, and the red warning is in addition to the amber warnings already issued for south-west and north-west England and west Wales.

The strong winds could create hazardous conditions for drivers, with trees and other debris potentially blocking the road, while high-sided vehicles could be at risk of toppling over.

Rod Dennis, spokesperson for the RAC Breakdown service, said: “Drivers are suddenly being thrust into some of the worst weather conditions they’re likely to face on the roads which could be a massive shock to the system.

“There is now a very high chance of Storm Arwen causing major disruption in parts of south east Scotland and north east England, so we strongly urge motorists in these areas to stay safe by parking away from trees and avoiding driving if at all possible.

“Red warnings from the Met Office are relatively rare and are the strongest possible signal to drivers not to set out in the first place unless absolutely necessary.”

Motorists in red and amber regions should consider postponing any trips if possible. However, if trips are essential, there are a few precautions you can take.

Key is to match your speed to the conditions, so be prepared to drive slower than normal. You should also give more room to pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles that may be blown off course.

Finally, take extra supplies with you just in case the conditions lead to traffic jams or you’re stranded for long periods.