Motorists have been warned to take extra care and plan their journeys as strong winds are set to batter exposed roads including the M27.

National Highways has warned drivers to check before travelling as Storm Ciarán is expected to lead to high winds and heavy rain. 

An amber wind alert has been issued for the South East, including Southampton

The road operator has now told motorists that the bridge over the River Hamble on the M27 is likely to be affected by the strong winds. 

Other areas that are expected to be hit include the M48 Severn Bridge, Queen Elizabeth II Bridge near Dartford, the Sheppey and Medway crossings in Kent, and the Port of Dover.

READ MORE: Red Funnel expecting delays as Storm Ciarán set to hit Southampton

National Highways is advising motorists – particularly those driving high-sided HGVs, motor homes and motorcycles, and those towing caravans and trailers – to check the weather and conditions before setting off.

Amy Shaw, National Network Manager at National Highways, said: “Driving conditions are likely to change given the Met Office forecasts around Storm Ciarán.

" If you're using the roads slow down and give yourself more space between you and the vehicle in front. It is harder for tyres to grip the road and excess spray makes it harder to see ahead. 

“We also remind drivers to remember TRIP – this is a National Highways initiative to help motorists.

"It stands for: Top-up - fuel, water and oil; Rest - every two hours; Inspect - tyres and lights before a long journey and Prepare - check your journey and the weather forecast before heading out. 

READ MORE: Storm Ciaran: Southampton school closures - live updates

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and drive to the conditions.

“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.

“Curtains on empty high-sided vehicles can act as sails when closed, and when high winds arise, we advise HGV drivers to open their curtain-sided vehicles if they are empty.”