HIGH winds have closed the Thelwall Viaduct in both directions.

The Highways Agency say continuing gale force winds mean the M6 will have to be closed and it is anticipating the closure will last until at least 9pm.

Meanwhile Liverpool bound trains are not stopping at Warrington Central station after glass in the station roof smashed in the high winds.

Winds of 69mph were recorded at 3.40pm and further gusts of 64mph have also been measured on the bridge.

Diversions between junction 19 and 21a at the Croft interchange are now in place with motorists being advised to travel between the M62, M60 anti clockwise and the M56 travelling south and the opposite route for those travelling north.

But there have also been delays along the M62 from Birchwood heading west towards Warrington causing more problems.

Cheshire Police are also urging people to only ring 999 in an emergency as the heavy winds cause a rise in demand to report trees down and road disruption.

Police are advising the public only to ring 999 in an emergency - to ensure those that need an urgent response can get through. An emergency would include a situation where there is a threat of harm or a threat to life, a crime is in progress, or police assistance is required immediately.

Non emergency calls should be made using 101.

The high winds are expected to peak in Cheshire around 6 pm this evening.

Drivers are urged to check travel conditions before setting out on journeys and consider whether they really need to travel with gale force winds forecast to continue beyond this evening's peak travel period and up to midnight this evening.

A reader sent us this picture of a tree blocking one lane of Warrington Road, Culcheth at 4pm today, Wednesday, after high winds swept across the town. 

Warrington Guardian:

Earlier this evening uprooted trees have also blocked London Road, Stockton Heath and Lyon's Lane in Appleton.

Members of Burtonwood Rural Watch have been praised by police after using saws to cut a tree blocking Old Alder Lane, Burtonwood. Warrington West NPU has reported the road is now clear.

Warrington South officers and residents have also been working together to clearing debris including a farmer driving a tractor helping to clear a tree from Cherry Lane in Lymm.

Police have also confirmed there were no passengers on a bus which was hit by a falling tree on London Road, Stockton Heath.

The driver has escaped with minor injuries.