Weather report: Advice for travellers as as Derbyshire prepares to be hit by Storm Ciara
Motorists pedestrians and cyclists have been urged to take extra care this weekend as Derbyshire braces itself for severe weather.
Over the next few days, Storm Ciara is forecast to bring heavy rain and widespread gales to our region, causing potential delays and travel disruption.
A Met Office Amber warning of rain and of wind is in place from midnight until 9pm on Sunday (9 February).
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Road safety expert Joanne Wehrle said: “This weekend’s forecast is for heavy rain and gales of up to 56mph in parts of our county.
“We would urge people using our roads, particularly on Sunday, to plan ahead and drive or ride to the conditions of the road.
“Obviously the road surfaces will be more slippery than usual so you need to give yourself extra time to react and increase your gap between you and the vehicle in front.
“A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s time for your wipers, it’s time to slow down’.”
Motorists are advised to stick to main roads that are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches, debris and flooding. It is also important to use dipped headlights if visibility is seriously reduced and anticipate spray from other vehicles.
Road users should give cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual as they will be increasingly vulnerable.
Cyclists are advised to use a lower gear, stick to sheltered routes if possible and pedestrians should ensure they walk away from the edge of the pavement, particularly with children.
Joanne added: “Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake.
“Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds.
“Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways.”