Britain braces itself for severe gales and snow

Road in winter

The UK is bracing itself for more bad weather this week as Storm Rachel blows in.

Parts of the UK will be hit by 80mph gales and travellers are being urged to only travel if absolutely necessary.

According to the Met Office, the north of England, coastal areas in Wales and the majority of Scotland and Northern Ireland can expect a battering today and into Saturday due to the effects of the Atlantic storm system.

As well as strong winds, there is also a high chance of snow, rain and fog, potentially causing widespread disruption across affected areas.

32 flood warnings have already been issued across Scotland while almost 150 have been slapped across parts of England and Wales.

Motorists are being warned to stay off the road unless travel is absolutely necessary, despite the widespread use of gritters across the country.

Motorcyclists unsurprisingly are most at risk on roads in these conditions and riders are advised to stay indoors and off two-wheels in the affected areas.

And with severe overnight frosts forecast for this weekend, riders are advised to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary and exercise extreme caution if it’s unavoidable.

The Highways Agency has also issued warnings for motorbikes, caravans and high-sided vehicles in the UK.

Next page: Winter riding survival tips