Highways teams around the country ready for storms

Highways teams around the country are getting ready for the storms forecast over the next few days.

The Met Office has issued yellow and amber weather warnings covering different parts of the county for high winds from Storm Dudley finishes, and yellow and amber weather warnings for potentially more severe winds from the early hours of Friday due to Storm Eunice. There is also a yellow warning for snow as Storm Eunice arrives, with the risk of heavy snow particularly affecting higher areas.

The storms bring the potential for disruption to travel as a result of wind-blown debris, and the risk of damage to property. People are also warned of the possible risk to themselves due to flying debris and to take particular care along the coast due to the likelihood of large waves, said Lancashire County Council.

The county council’s highway teams are on standby to deal with whatever the weather brings, whether there’s a need to remove downed trees, or close roads until hazards can be safely dealt with. The council’s 45-strong frontline gritter fleet is also ready to treat the roads ahead of any wintry fronts, and highways staff will be keeping a close eye on the localised forecasts they receive as the weather picture develops.

County Councillor Rob Bailey, lead member for highways and transport, said: “Our highways teams are well prepared to deal with all kinds of winter weather, and they’re standing by to keep our roads moving in case they need to deal with fallen trees, or close roads in case damaged structures pose a risk to road users.

“I’d ask everyone to keep in touch with the latest advice from the Met Office, and particularly note the potential for dangers in exposed coastal areas with large waves expected as the storms approach from the Atlantic.

“As ever our gritting teams will be ready to treat the roads ahead of any wintry weather which Storm Eunice brings, however conditions could be particularly difficult in higher areas in the east of Lancashire and I’d ask people to be prepared and consider their travel plans on Friday morning.”

Elsewhere, Hampshire Highways teams are on full alert ready for Storm Eunice which is due to reach Hampshire during the early hours of Friday.

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways Operations, said: “Following the Met Office Yellow Weather warning for this latest storm, our highways teams are ready to work round the clock if needs be, with additional frontline resources on standby in order to keep Hampshire moving. 

“They are braced to deal with the consequences from the expected gusts of wind up to 60-70 mph inland, and possibly up to 80 mph in exposed costal locations. In preparation, we will have extra specialist tree crews and emergency response gangs available, as well as drainage teams on standby should the strong wind be accompanied by heavy rain.  

“Before setting out on a journey on Friday and over the weekend, I would ask that anyone checks the weather forecast and traffic information before they head off and consider if their journey is absolutely necessary. Anyone who must travel, is urged to please be prepared and drive according to the conditions.”

The strongest winds are expected to be between 9am and 3pm on Friday and the Environment Agency has warned that a storm tidal surge of 50 cm is likely in coastal areas.


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