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Storm Arwen – Drivers urged to travel only if essential as storm approaches

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People are being advised to travel only if absolutely necessary as gale force winds are forecast for parts of North Yorkshire later today (Friday) and into Saturday.

Storm Arwen is forecast to bring winds of up to 55mph to the county from around 3pm today and through the night into Saturday morning. There is also a possibility of sleet turning to snow on higher ground, with drifting possible, particularly over the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales. Frost and ice is also forecast.

North Yorkshire County Council’s highways teams say they are well prepared.

Cllr Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:

All our NY Highways teams are in place and will be able to respond to any conditions that arise over the weekend. In addition, the 100 farming contractors that support our winter highways operation are primed to help if required, particularly if the strong winds exacerbate any impact of snow through drifting.

We would ask anyone planning to travel to consider whether their journey is absolutely necessary. If they do need to travel, they should be alert to the conditions, drive accordingly and leave extra time for their journey.

High winds can affect vehicle handling, so drivers need to adjust their driving by slowing down and being careful when passing high-sided vehicles on exposed roads. They should also give extra space to cyclists and motorcyclists when overtaking. Drivers should make sure their vehicles are prepared for winter.

In coastal areas, people are advised to avoid seafronts in case of overtopping by waves. Across the county, residents should secure garden furniture and other loose items that might be susceptible to very strong winds.

In preparation for this winter, the County Council invested in 18 new gritters to replace older vehicles in its fleet, meaning the current average age of the fleet of 80 vehicles is now only 3.7 years. Each winter, the County Council spends between £6m and £10m on gritting, depending on the severity of the weather. It has salt stocks of about 55,000 tonnes, plus about 8,000 grit heaps and bins.

 

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