Storm Aileen warnings issued for A1 and A19 as heavy winds strike

Winds on the Hylton Bridge on the A19
Winds on the Hylton Bridge on the A19

Drivers are being urged to take extra care on sections of the A19 and A1 overnight and tomorrow morning as Storm Aileen heads to the region.

Highways England has issued an amber "be aware" alert for North East motorways and major A roads across the country in response to a Met Office forecast of strong winds and heavy rain, which comes into force at 9pm tonight and runs until 9am tomorrow morning.

The stretch of the A1(M) J58 to J65 - between the A1 and Washington at J65 - is among those on the amber alert list.

The A19 is subject to two amber alerts in the North East - the Hylton Bridge over the River Wear in Sunderland, and the Tees Viaduct (between the Portrack Lane and Middlesbrough turn off).

Westerly winds are expected to increase during the this evening into the early hours tomorrow morning with gusts in excess of 60mph possible over exposed roads during the night. Winds should begin to decrease during the morning peak period.

Drivers of lorries, caravans and motorbikes are being advised to avoid 53 exposed sections of the road network, including

The Humber Bridge, Thelwall Viaduct and Woodhead Pass are other major route sections in the the north of England which are subject to warnings.

Richard Leonard, Head of Road User Safety at Highways England, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with strong winds and heavy rain expected from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.”