Storm Doris alert issued to drivers

23 February 2017

Drivers are being urged to be prepared before setting out on journeys today (Thursday 23 February) after Highways England issued a severe weather alert for the country’s major roads.

An amber alert for gales will be in place across the North, Midlands and East between 6am and 6pm on Thursday in response to the strong winds and heavy rain forecast during Storm Doris.

Gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are expected on some roads, along with heavy rain and surface water. There is a particularly high risk to high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes on exposed sections of the network.

Drivers of these vehicles are being strongly advised to avoid travelling on around 40 stretches of motorway and major A road while the alert is in place.


Richard Leonard, Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, said:

We’re expecting Storm Doris to have a significant impact on the roads throughout the day tomorrow so are urging drivers to consider changing their plans if necessary and to slow down in stormy weather.

Drivers should look out for warnings on the electronic message signs and listen for updates in radio travel bulletins. Our traffic officers will also be ready to respond to any incidents during Storm Doris, and we’re urging drivers to respond to the changing conditions on the road to stay safe.


Earlier this winter, Highways England launched a new safety campaign warning drivers that ‘when it rains, it kills’ after the latest statistics showed that people are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in rain than in snow.

The figures also reveal that travelling too fast for the current conditions was identified as a factor in 1 in 9 road deaths in Great Britain last year, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions on the road.

Drivers of high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes are being advised to avoid the following stretches of road while the severe weather alert is in place:


North East / Yorkshire

  • M1 J32 – M18 interchange
  • M1 J34 Tinsley Viaduct/Rotherham
  • M1 J39-J40 Crigglestone to Dewsbury
  • A628 Woodhead Pass
  • M62 J23-J25 Huddersfield to Brighouse
  • M62 J31-J32    Normanton to Pontefract
  • M62 J35a-J36 Rawcliffe Bridge, M18 interchange to J36 Goole
  • M62 J36-J37    River Ouse / Ouse Bridge
  • A1(M) J47-J49 Between A59 Knaresborough and A168 Dishforth
  • A1(M) J58-J65 Between A1 and Washington at J65
  • A66 Between M6 J40 – A1 (Scotch Corner)
  • A19 Hylton Bridge over River Wear
  • A19 Tees Viaduct
  • A19 Leven Viaduct
  • A69 Entire route
  • Humber Bridge


North West

  • M53 J1-J2 Wallasey to Birkenhead
  • M56 J12 Runcorn and Sutton Weaver
  • M58 J1 Kirkby
  • M6 J20-J21 Thelwall Viaduct
  • M6 J26-J27 M58 to Standish
  • M6 J36-J45 Through Cumbria
  • M60 J10-J12 Barton Bridge through to M62
  • M60 J16-J17 Pendlebury and Kersley to Prestwich and Whitefield
  • M62 J18-J27 Between Manchester and Leeds
  • M61 J4-J5 Westhoughton
  • M61 J9 / M65 J1 Interchange
  • A56 Between M65 and A680 at Edenfield
  • M65 J3-J4 Withnell and Blackburn Interchange
  • A66 Between M6 J40 – A1 (Scotch Corner)
  • A69 Entire route



  • A14 Orwell Bridge – near Ipswich
  • A282 QE2 Bridge/Dartford Bridge

East Midlands

  • M1 J22-J23      Leicester North to Loughborough


West Midlands

  • M50 J1-J2 Queenhill, Tewkesbury to Ledbury
  • M5 J1-J2 West Bromwich to Dudley
  • M5 J4-J5 Kidderminster to Redditch
  • M5 J7-J8 Worcester to J8 – M50; Strensham Services
  • M6 J6-J8 Spaghetti Junction to Friar Park (M5)
  • M6 J15-J16 Keele Services; immediately south of J16 – Audley

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