MOTORISTS have been urged to take extra care in strong winds across the North East and Yorkshire. 

National Highways is advising drivers to take care and be prepared as Storm Arwen brings very strong winds across large parts of North East England on Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Train passengers have also been urged to avoid LNER services until Monday due to the inclement weather. 

Winds are expected to strengthen from the North during Friday night, reaching 50-60mph across Northumberland, County Durham and Middlesbrough and reaching 60-70mph along coastal routes. 

Read more: Met Office issues rare 'red' weather warning for the North East

The A1, A19, A174 and the trans-Pennine A66 are the key National Highways routes likely to be affected. 

National Highways forecasters expect the winds to slowly ease from the north during Saturday morning and although they will remain strong as they transfer further south into north and east Yorkshire, with gusts 50-60mph likely on the A64, later in the morning, they are not expected to bring as much disruption to the road network.  

Motorists, particularly those driving high-sided HGVS, caravans and motorcycles, are advised to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds. 

National Highways strongly advises that these types of vehicles avoid, if possible, the following sections of road during the severe weather alert: 

A1 - Newcastle to Berwick  
A66 – Between M6 junction 40 to A1 at Scotch Corner 
A19 – Hylton Bridge over the River Wear 
A19 – Tees Viaduct 
A19 - Leven Viaduct 
A174 - Middlesbrough 
M1 - junction 32 – M18 interchange 
M1 - junction 34 - Tinsley Viaduct / Rotherham 
M1 - junction 39 - 40 – Crigglestone to Dewsbury 

Rail operator LNER is encouraging any customers booked to travel from today until the end of service on Sunday, November 28, to defer their travel if possible.

Tickets will be valid on LNER services on the following dates: Monday 29 and Tuesday, November 30 including Wednesday, December 1. Network Rail has imposed emergency speed restrictions as the extreme weather conditions begin to impact the East Coast route.

The East Coast route north of Berwick Upon Tweed will be closed to services from 17:00 today. Further closures as a result of the extreme weather are possible elsewhere on the East Coast route. Services that can operate face extended journey times, and short notice delays and cancellations are expected.

Read more: Red weather warning cancels County Durham Christmas event

National Highways operations manager, Andrew Kippax said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys. If you do intend to travel, then plan ahead  and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey. 

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes. We would advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down, or potentially to delay their journey if possible 

“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 or sections of the road  for a period. Please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.” 

Darlington Council confirmed the tip and recycling centre, in Mewburn Road, has closed due to the very strong winds. 

These are expected to carry on over night and into Saturday so the tip will remain closed all day November 27. 

A statement added: "We will review the re-opening on Sunday (28 Nov) when the winds are expected to diminish late morning."