Motorists urged to take great care as seasonal rush gets underway

Windy and wet conditions could make for hazardous driving conditions in the run up to Christmas as the seasonal getaway begins, the Met Office has warned.

As many as 20 million individual Christmas leisure trips are expected to be taken by motorists this week, according to a study by the RAC and INRIX, prompting the Met Office to urge travellers to check the forecast before they start any journeys.

Research suggests there will be a staggered spread of getaway traffic throughout the week, peaking towards the weekend as large volumes of commuter traffic combines with people going Christmas shopping and travelling to be with family.

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This Thursday and Friday are expected to bring some of the worst traffic, with 2.5 million and 2.8m individual journeys expected to be taken respectively.

A gritting lorry embedded in a house in Chester Road in Helsby, Cheshire, after it left the road earlier this morning. Picture by Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “With millions of journeys being made over the festive holidays, we’re urging travellers to check the forecast before they travel.”

In Yorkshire tomorrow, expect cloudy and windy conditions with showers slowly moving eastwards.

A calmer, drier day on Wednesday is expected to be followed by windier and wetter conditions on Thursday, while the forecast for Friday is for patchy fog and frost at first, turning cloudy with rain later.

Mr Madge added: “Winter weather can bring many risks, but knowing the forecast in advance and being aware of any potentially hazardous weather conditions you may face will help you prepare and it will make all the difference to your journey.”

A gritter lorry came into difficulty in Cheshire in the early hours of this morning. A road was closed in the village of Helsby at around 1am after the lorry ploughed into a house.

The driver avoided serious injury and the occupants of the house were unharmed.