Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
7:29 PM 12th November 2023

Severe Weather Warning Issued For Gales In North West

National Highways has issued a severe weather warning for gales in the North West of England tomorrow, between 9am and 4pm.

Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash
Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash
The Met Office says Storm Debi is expected to develop over Ireland overnight before moving east across the far north of the network tomorrow morning. This storm will bring a period of very strong winds across north Cheshire, Lancashire and southern Cumbria in particular including the M62 and A628 trans-Pennine routes.

Winds within this area will widely gust 50-60 mph with 60-70 mph gusts on routes to the west of the M6 and over the Pennines with occasional outbreaks of heavy rain exacerbating the difficult driving conditions.

Drivers of high sided vehicles, motorbikes and other vulnerable vehicles are advised to take extra care due to the risk of being blown over. The winds across the south of Cheshire and north Cumbria (as well as outside the North West region) will also be strong with winds 40-50 mph widely. Winds will slowly ease from the west from mid-afternoon, but will remain strong in to the evening.

Stephen Basterfield, National Network Manager at National Highways, said:
“Gales and high winds can happen all year round, but most often occur during storms, and are even more prevalent during the autumn and winter seasons and early spring.

“It is therefore always important to plan ahead for your journey, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.

“We have a section of our website dedicated to travelling amid storms, high winds and gales, and considerations for different types of vehicle, as part of our guide to travelling in severe weather. It’s also a good idea for people to check their vehicles, such as tyres, coolant and oil levels, before heading out to reduce the risk of breakdowns.”

People are also reminded to remember TRIP - Top-up: oil, water and screenwash, Rest: every two hours, Inspect: tyres and Prepare: for weather conditions.

Vulnerable Vehicles

Certain types of vehicles are more prone to the effects of high winds.

Transit vans with modifications 
Vehicles towing trailers or caravans,
Double decker buses 
Articulated HGVs 
Abnormal loads 
Car transporters 
High-sided rigid HGVs 

If your vehicle is susceptible to high-wind conditions, consider delaying your journey until weather conditions improve if you can.

Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash
Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash
When you’re on the road

Slow down and keep focused on the road ahead – you may encounter debris blown in by the wind 
Avoid using exposed sections of road if possible. Lorries, caravans and motorbikes are at particular risk. 
Use both hands on the steering wheel to keep good control of your vehicle -gusts of wind can cause your vehicle to shake 
Look out for gaps in trees or buildings, or when crossing bridges – you’re more likely to encounter side winds here 
Keep room on either side of your vehicle to allow for it being blown sideways 
Watch out for side winds when passing larger high-sided vehicles - keep room on either side of your vehicle to allow for it being blown sideways 

Road users should heed messages on the overhead signs and listen for radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting or calling the National Highways Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

More information about travelling in severe weather here