Highways England are ready for Winter

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If ever you were unsure what season we were in, the biting cold wind of last week would of certainly given you an idea.

Across the country 1,300 specially trained gritter drivers are gearing up for winter, ready to keep drivers moving.

The company responsible for keeping the motorways and major roads moving has over 500 salt spreading vehicles ready, around the clock.

Their purpose will be to help drivers such as ourselves get to our destinations as safely as possible.

Across the length and breadth of the road network weather monitors track temperatures, wind movement and more.

It is thought that there are over 245 anemometers to check wind speeds and over 260 weather stations at locations across the road network.

Giving Highway’s England advanced warning of severe weather.

Highways England’s national winter and severe weather team lead, Paul Furlong said:

Whether people are heading to friends and family or commuting to work, we care about people journeys and during any severe weather our teams will be working around the clock to keep traffic moving.”

“Safety is our priority and we’re asking drivers to make sure they and their vehicles are also prepared for any eventuality. Before you set out, check your vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast. If conditions are poor, and journeys are not essential, consider waiting until the weather gets better – this should improve journeys, and give our gritters a chance to treat the roads.”

If you do find yourself caught in the middle of severe weather, drivers are urged to follow this advice.

In snow and ice

Stick to the main roads wherever possible and only travel if essential.  Make sure you have a winter kit and ensure this kit includes an ice scraper, de-icer, warm clothes, blankets and sunglasses to cope with the winter sun.

In high winds

Slow your vehicles down, avoid using exposed sections of the road wherever safe and possible to do so.  Lorries, caravans and motorbikes are at particular risk.

In heavy rain

Stay well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering does become unresponsive and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see or be seen.

In fog

Switch on your fog lights and not use lights on full beam as the fog will reflect the light back.  If you cannot see what’s in front of you, you should stop your journey until it is safe to resume.

To stay up to date on driving conditions on long journeys drivers are advised to follow messages on overhead signs and listen out for radio updates.

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