DRIVERS are being advised that Storm Eunice is expected to create severe driving conditions across the South West’s motorway network as well as much of England this morning (Friday).

The storm will post a significant risk to vehicles in parts of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and South Wales, where National Highways has issued a Red Alert for gales in addition to a Met Office Red National Severe Weather Warning. Cornwall Council is advising against any travel which is not essential.

Yellow, amber and red Met Office warnings for wind have been issued across England for the storm, which is going to impact large parts of the country, and heavy snow has been forecast for Cumbria, parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The National Highways Red Alert relates to the South West of England between 8am and 11am and exceptionally strong winds are predicted around the Bristol Channel, peaking this morning with 70mph-80mph gusts, possibly reaching 90mph in the Bristol area over the M5’s Avonmouth Bridge and both the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge and M48 Severn Bridge over the Severn estuary to South Wales.

This will lead to dangerous driving conditions for vulnerable vehicles with exceptional sidewinds and wind-blown debris. Road users are advised to avoid travel unless it’s essential. Parts of the M5 and the Severn Crossings may have to close at times in any case.

There’s a particularly high risk that high-sided vehicles and other vulnerable vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over and National Highways, in conjunction with the Met Office, strongly advises these types of vehicles avoid the M4 and M48 Severn Crossings, the M4 junction 22 to M5 junction 18, Stroud to M4 in the Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Cotswolds, the M5 Avonmouth Bridge, and Clevedon to Bridgwater across the Somerset Levels.