02/02/2012

Highways Agency Issues Weather Warning

The Highways Agency is urging people to be prepared when setting out on a journey, as temperatures continue to fall during the week.

The agency, which looks after England’s motorways and major A roads, said that even if it’s not snowing, cold weather can create dangers that are less obvious – such as an increased risk of ice.

Jason Glasson of the Highways Agency’s winter team said: “Although the forecast suggests you are unlikely to need a snow shovel this week, you should make sure you have plenty of warm clothing for you and your passengers. If you break down on the motorway it’s dangerous to stay in your vehicle.”

A Met Office cold weather alert has been issued for the entire country. They are predicting temperatures of minus three in London and Birmingham on Friday morning. Everywhere is expected to be sub zero and the temperature will ‘feel like’ minus six or lower in places.

The Highways Agency’s 500-strong gritting fleet is expecting this to be one of its busiest weeks of the winter.

Even though it has been relatively mild so far compared to last year, the fleet has already spread more than 60,000 tonnes of salt since the start of winter and is expecting to clock up a million miles by the weekend.

Met Office forecasters based at the Highways Agency’s national traffic operations centre say there will be little rain or snow before the weekend, but road conditions can still be challenging when it is so cold.

“It’s particularly important you give yourself extra time to prepare for your journey on a cold morning and don’t drive off until you and your car are ready,” added Jason Glasson.

(DW/GK)

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