The Wokingham Paper

Motorists warned to be prepared for Storm Dennis


A WARNING to be prepared has been issued to motorists ahead of Storm Dennis hitting the country over the weekend. 

Heavy rain and storm winds have been forecast, with gusts expected to reach up to 70mph in places. 

Highways England wants drivers to plan ahead, especially if they are on a motorbike, in a high-sided HGVs, or towing a caravan. They should check travel conditions before setting off and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.  

Highways England’s head of road safety, Richard Leonard, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.

“In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen. 

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”

Wet weather driving

  • Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen and remember that stopping distances will be at least double in wet weather, because your tyres will have less grip on the road.
  • Keep well back from the vehicle in front as this will increase your ability to see and plan ahead
  • Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually if the steering becomes unresponsive as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road
  • If roads are flooded, find another route –
  • Road users are being advised to follow messages on any overhead signs and listen to radio updates. 

Further information can be found by visiting or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

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