Amber alert: take care on roads as skies open

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The Met Office has issued an amber alert that heavy and persistent rain is likely to break out early today, Tuesday and become more widespread through the morning before clearing away eastwards.

Some heavy showers or thunderstorms are expected to develop in places again during Tuesday afternoon.

The Highways Agency, which operates and maintains motorways and some major A roads in England, is working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys.

A Highways Agency spokesperson said: “Drivers are advised to plan their journeys before setting out, check the weather and traffic conditions, leave extra time for their journeys if travel conditions are poor, and delay their journey if the weather becomes severe.

“There are times during sudden and torrential downpours when standing water can collect on carriageways and residual water can result in very thick spray. Drivers should slow down in wet conditions and take extra care. Driving too quickly through water can cause aquaplaning and loss of control of your vehicle which can lead to accidents.”

Highways Agency traffic officers across England will be monitoring weather and traffic conditions around the clock and will be on hand to quickly respond to incidents, while colleagues in Regional Control Centres will be monitoring CCTV cameras, answering emergency telephone calls and setting advisory signs for drivers to warn of spray and other road conditions.

The Highways Agency offers a number of services to help people make decisions about their journeys. Up-to-date information on road conditions on England’s motorways and trunk roads is available on the Agency website at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or by calling 0300 123 5000.

For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk or listen to local radio.