New Year travel disruption expected as heavy rain and strong winds sweep across Dorset (From Bournemouth Echo)
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New Year travel disruption expected as heavy rain and strong winds sweep across Dorset
HEAVY rain and gale force winds look set to disrupt new year travel plans for thousands across Dorset and Hampshire.
Britain was due to wake up to a stormy start to 2014 this morning.
And the forecast indicates little let up as families head home after the festive break.
Today’s heavy rain will be accompanied by strong winds with gusts up to 60mph and wind speeds show no sign of slowing down until the middle of next week.
“There could be up to 20mm of rain today which will lead to very difficult traffic conditions,” said Kevin Taylor of Dorset Weather.
“The amount of rain will almost certainly exacerbate any flooding issues in the area.”
The AA has issued warnings to drivers who will be attempting to get home to return to work and the start of the new school term.
“Plan journeys carefully and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly,” said a spokesman.
“Low speed limits or even temporary closures may be imposed on exposed bridges and road closures due to falling debris or accidents will be more frequent.
“Inevitably some trees or branches will come down when winds are high. If you see twigs or small branches in the road there could easily be a tree round the next bend. Hitting debris like this at speed could be fatal.”
Motorists have also been urged to check for disruption to rail, road and ferry services before setting off.
Poor weather throughout the festive season has already led to fallen trees, flooding and power cuts across the south of England, including the Iford area of Bournemouth.
Driving advice from Police
Dorset Police have issued advice to drivers.
In severe high winds and heavy rain, motorists are advised:
- Not to travel unless you have to
- Keep your distance from other vehicles
- Keep your speed down – sudden gusts of wind can blow you off course
- Leave extra time to get to your destination
- Show consideration for other motorists, especially when confronted with delays and/or blocked roads
- When visibility is reduced switch on your headlights.
In the event of flooding, drivers are advised to:
- Exercise caution when approaching standing water on the roads
- Give consideration to the depth of the water
- Do not take any risks driving through flood waters
- Drive through shallow water slowly and be aware of the effect of waves on other road users.
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