Roads Minister Robert Goodwill says:
“The Highways Agency does all it can to keep the roads open during severe weather. But drivers need to play their part too by making simple vehicle checks, carrying a few important items and planning their journeys according to the weather. In very severe weather, drivers need to consider whether their journey is really necessary.”
However, the Highways Agency’s research shows that 33 per cent of drivers on the M25 do not make any vehicle checks and 43 per cent do not take any of the items in the suggested emergency kit. Forty three per cent do not even carry de-icer.
Highways Agency Traffic Management Director, Simon Sheldon-Wilson, says:
“The Highways Agency is well-prepared for ice and snow. We have over 500 salt spreading vehicles, ploughs and snow blowers, and 270,000 tonnes of salt already in stock.
“Using detailed weather forecasts, we treat the road network before road temperatures fall below freezing – often at night in preparation for peak traffic periods.
“But that doesn’t mean people should drive as they normally would – they still need to take care, as they would during any kind of adverse weather, and plan ahead.”
The Agency encourages drivers to take some simple steps during winter:
• Check your vehicle – fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres – before setting out.
• Be prepared with an emergency kit in your vehicle, including ice-scraper, de-icer, warm clothes and blankets, torch, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, a spade, a road atlas and sunglasses (for the winter glare).
• Plan your journeys. Check weather and travel conditions before and during your journey.
• If the weather is very 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, ice can still form, particularly on bends or under overhanging trees.
November 14, 2013