Road users across the North West are being urged to take care as Met Office issues severe gale-force winds for the region.
The Highways Agency has issued its first amber alert and are urging road users, in particular those using routes in Lancashire and Cumbria, to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on their journeys.
Southwesterly winds will increase tonight (Friday, January, 9) to bring gusts of 50-60 mph, with the risk of local 70 mph.
Strong winds are set to continue through to Saturday morning (January, 10).
The high winds including westerly cross winds are likely to affect north to south routes like the M6 and the A56 in Lancashire.
The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for rain for the North West over the weekend (January, 10).
Drivers of high-sided vehicles and other vulnerable vehicles such as caravans and motorcycles are being advised to avoid using exposed sections of motorways and other routes across the north.
Drivers are advised to plan their journeys before they set out, checking the forecast and road conditions, to leave extra time for their journeys if travel conditions are poor, and to delay their journey if the weather becomes severe.
The Highways Agency, which operates and maintains motorways and major A roads in England, is working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys.