The Highways Agency is warning road users in the South West to be cautious as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast from noon tomorrow.

The Agency and the Met Office “strongly advise” that the A35 in West Dorset from Long Bredy towards Bridport should be avoided by high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes during the severe weather alert until midnight tomorrow.

Heavy rain will move across the region tomorrow afternoon and night which could result in accumulated rainfall of 20mm. Given the already saturated ground, further problems with local flooding are possible.

Met Office forecasters based in the Agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre have also issued an Amber Alert for very strong winds across the South West with gusting up to 80 mph on exposed roads near the coast.

Road users driving high-sided vehicles, riding motorcycles or towing caravans are being urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on other parts of the strategic road network.

The public should be aware of the risk of disruption from strong winds, which may cause some damage, with disruption due to fallen trees and debris on roads.

A Met Office spokesman said: “A vigorous area of low pressure is expected to move northeastwards across northern parts of the UK later on Wednesday, clearing eastwards early on Thursday.

“This is likely to be accompanied by a swathe of southwesterly gales across many areas which may be severe in places. Winds will veer more westerly later on Wednesday.

“A first peak in the winds is likely over southwest England around the middle of Wednesday but with the main swathe of even stronger and potentially damaging winds crossing parts of Wales then northern England later in the day.

“The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption to transport and possibly also power supplies. In addition, large waves are likely to affect some coasts.”