Several major roads in County Durham, North Yorkshire and Teesside have been blocked after heavy rain brought by Storm Gerrit. 

People who have been travelling on the roads of the North East on Wednesday (December 27) have reported numerous hazards.

Travellers have been warned of delays and potentially hazardous conditions on their way home from the Christmas holidays, with the storm forecast to bring wintry weather for some.

The Northern Echo: The A66 near StainmoreThe A66 near Stainmore (Image: NORTH EAST TRAFFIC CAMERAS)

Wind warnings are in place for the south of England and across the English Channel coast as well as parts of western Wales, north-west England, Northern Ireland, northern Scotland and the northern isles.

According to the Environment Agency, five flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, are active in England, along with 100 lesser flood alerts.

Roads, including the A66 between Bowes and Brough have experienced large pools of water on the road, while the School Aycliffe road towards Darlington has also experienced slight flooding. 

The Northern Echo: The A66 just beyond BowesThe A66 just beyond Bowes (Image: TRAFFIC WATCH)

According to AA road maps, the A66, alongside the A1(M) slip road at Scotch Corner are partly closed, due to flooding.

A spokesperson for AA said: "Road closed due to flooding on A1(M) Northbound from J52 A6055 (Catterick) to J53 A66 (Scotch Corner). A1(M) J52 entry slip road was also closed due to flooding."

And: "One lane closed and slow traffic due to flooding on A66 Westbound from A1(M) J53 (Scotch Corner) to A67 Bowes Road."

The Northern Echo: The M62 on WednesdayThe M62 on Wednesday (Image: PA MEDIA)

Meanwhile, train operator LNER has cancelled or amended some of its services due to the severe weather.

The RAC has warned drivers not to underestimate the dangers of high winds.

Spokesperson Simon Williams said: “While high-sided vehicles are most at risk of being blown off course, car drivers can also be affected when they pass lorries on the motorway and are suddenly hit by the full force of the wind on the other side.

“Keeping both hands on the wheel at all times is the best advice, along with watching other vehicles very carefully so as not to get caught out by any unexpected changes in course.

“Getting to motorways and major roads may also be more difficult. Drivers should reduce their speeds and be on the lookout for fallen branches, and even trees, along with other debris.”

The RNLI urged those visiting the coast to exercise extreme caution, particularly along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

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Gareth Morrison, RNLI water safety partner, said: “The RNLI advises staying a safe distance away from the water and cliff edges as the conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.”

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said Storm Gerrit was named as a warning to people travelling after the Christmas holidays.

He said: “Due to the extent of the warnings that are being issued, it was deemed that a named storm would be a good idea because it will highlight to the public the risk associated, particularly as today is likely to be quite a busy day on the roads with people travelling back home from Christmas and things like that.”