The UK is bracing for gale force winds and potential flooding as Storm Brian approaches, with gusts of up to 70mph expected in parts of the country.

The Met Office has issued a Yellow wind warning for Saturday covering southern, western and central England, in addition to much of Wales, as experts warn of the potential for transport disruption and power cuts.

The Environment Agency has also issued seven flood warnings across England - meaning flooding is expected - and 42 flood alerts, mostly in west and south-west England - meaning flooding is possible. Flood barriers have been installed in some areas.

The storm is already battering Ireland, with winds of up to 80mph expected in some regions, according to Met Éireann, which has issued an orange warning in seven Irish counties. Brian comes after Ophelia wreaked havoc on the island earlier this week killing three people and leaving thousands without power.

However, the Irish weather agency said "winds won't be anywhere near as strong as Ophelia". Furthermore, the storm will weaken as it moves towards Britain.

However, travellers across the country are being urged to take extra care.

RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: "Drivers encountering high winds are advised to reduce their speed, ensure they hold the steering wheel firmly and be prepared for sudden gusts, debris and even fallen branches in the road."

He added: "Allow plenty of room between your vehicle and the next and take extra care when overtaking cyclists, motorcyclists and lorries as they are susceptible to being blown around easily by side winds. Be extra cautious when driving on exposed roads, high ground and across bridges where again sudden gusts can blow you off course.

"When you reach your destination consider parking safely avoiding trees, overhanging telephone wires and things which could represent a falling danger."

Coastal areas will be most at risk, as they will face the strongest winds, as well as high tides.

Trains and ferries have been cancelled in Wales, while some sea roads are closed. People in coastal areas have also been urged to take extra care around seafronts.

Ben Lukey from the Environment Agency said: "We urge people to stay safe along the coast and warn against putting yourself in unnecessary danger by taking 'storm selfies' or driving through flood water - just 30cm (11in) is enough to move your car."

Outside of coastal areas, wind speeds are likely to reach between 45mph and 55mph in areas affected by the storm, although in much of the country the weather is expected to resemble a fairly normal windy Autumn day.

National Rail said the storm may affect train services and warned passengers to plan for possible travel disruption.

Speed restrictions are in place in some areas - including the majority of routes in Wales – to protect passengers and crew from the effects of high winds which can blow trees and debris onto railway lines and overhead power cables.