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10:00 AM 8th February 2024
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National Highways Urges Road Users To ‘Be Prepared’ For Severe Weather

 
photo credit National Highways
photo credit National Highways
National Highways is encouraging motorists to plan their journeys and consider whether they are necessary with significant snow forecast to blanket northern and central regions in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

This follows warnings from the Met Office for snow in northern areas and as far south as the Midlands across Thursday. National Highways has also issued its own severe amber weather alert, which is based on different criteria and is focused on the potential impact to the strategic road network.

The Met Office have advised that snow will begin to fall in the northern regions in the early hours of Thursday. On lower ground this could turn to rain during the late morning, but higher routes across the Pennines could see snow fall throughout the day with very difficult driving conditions, particularly for HGVs and high-sided vehicles like caravans.

Up to 2.5cm of snow is predicted above 200m (including parts of the M6/M56 and M6/M62 intersections) and 10-15cm above 300m. This could peak with as much as 20cm of snow at the peak of the M62 and A628 Woodhead Pass.

If you are considering travelling on these higher routes, please ask yourself if your journey is essential, and before setting off, please make sure you and your vehicle are prepared.

HGV drivers are asked to consider avoiding parts of the road network with steeper than normal inclines, particularly in northern parts of the country. The predicted weather conditions could lead to vehicles becoming jack-knifed or stranded which can prevent gritting vehicles treating the road with salt or ploughing snow clear.

With precipitation expected to turn lighter and patchier as it moves north, no more than 2-5 cm is expected on the A66 above 300 m. Patches of fog and high winds, gusting around 50 mph, could also make driving conditions treacherous on higher and more exposed routes.

National Highways, in conjunction with the Met Office, are strongly advising that travel in these areas is likely to be extended or even disrupted. Road users are advised to follow messages displayed on overhead signs and listen for radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting The Traffic England website or by calling the National Highways Information Line on: 0300 123 5000.

A fleet of 530 gritters are on hand for National Highways to call upon during sub-zero temperatures.

Amy Shaw, National Network Manager at National Highways, said:
“Freezing conditions as we are expecting tonight bring hazards such as snow and ice, so take every possible step to understand your journey in advance and allow lots of extra time when travelling; prepare for the unexpected.

“When planning your journey, check the weather forecasts, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.”


National Highways also reminds motorists to keep TRIP in mind ahead of journeys – Top-up: oil, water, screenwash; Rest: rest every two hours; Inspect: Inspect tyres and lights and Prepare: check your route and the weather forecast.

Abigail Oakes, Senior Account Manager at the Met Office, said:
“We’re working closely with National Highways throughout the year to help people stay safe on the roads, and providing the best possible support for road users during periods of severe weather.

“All of the information we gather helps National Highways to inform road users about current road conditions whatever the weather. We also share information through channels including our website, third party travel providers – including sat nav companies – and local radio stations.”

Further information is available on travelling in winter web page.

Further information can be found by visiting the travel updates page, and by following @highwaysnwest @highwaysneast @highwaysseast @highwaysswest @highwayseast @highwayswmids, @highwaysemids @highwaysyorks on X or calling the National Highways Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.