Drivers in the East urged to be ready for winter

With warnings of possible snow next week, The Highways Agency is encouraging people in the East to be ready for severe weather as part of its ‘Make Time for Winter’ campaign.

The campaign encourages drivers to prepare for winter journeys that may be affected by poor weather.

Research by the Highways Agency shows that 49 per cent of drivers ignore severe weather warnings, while 29 per cent of drivers do not prepare their vehicle for winter – potentially putting themselves and others at risk.

Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said:

“Drivers need to make sure they and their vehicles are ready for severe weather. Vehicles are much more prone to break down as temperatures plummet and a routine incident or breakdown can become much more serious in severe weather.

“Any broken down vehicles can have a big impact on our motorways and trunk roads, making it harder for road salting vehicles and snow ploughs to operate. As well as putting the driver and passengers at risk, it takes longer to clear the roads and causes delays for everyone else.

“It’s important drivers take a few minutes to check their vehicles, plan their journeys, check the weather forecast and carry an emergency kit. In the most severe weather, they should even consider whether their journey is really necessary before they set out.”

The Highways Agency, which operates and maintains motorways and strategic roads in England, is well prepared for ice and snow. It has over 500 winter vehicles – salt spreaders, ploughs and snow blowers – on standby at over 100 depots to help keep traffic moving. Using data from the Met Office and on-road weather stations, it is able to treat the strategic road network before road temperatures fall below freezing. To do this, it has over a quarter of a million tonnes of salt in stock.The Agency encourages drivers to take some simple steps themselves:

* Check your vehicle – fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres – before setting out.
* Be prepared with an emergency kit in your vehicle, including warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch, a spade, and any regular medication
* Listen to travel bulletins on the radio.
* If the weather is severe, consider whether your journey is essential or travel at a different time. In winter, the weather can change quickly so always be prepared for bad weather
* Remember that even when roads have been treated with salt, the local road layout or landscape can mean a greater risk of ice forming, such as on bends or under overhanging trees.


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