UK Government

Highways Agency: Highways Agency ready for snowfall as drivers urged to check conditions before travelling

Press Release   •   Dec 18, 2009 10:54 GMT

Road users across much of England are being advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they travel tonight and tomorrow – Thursday and Friday 17 and 18 December – as heavy snowfall is expected.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning, saying a number of regions face a risk of heavy snowfall on Thursday night and throughout the day on Friday.
The Highways Agency, which operates and maintains motorways and major A roads in England, is working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys.

The Highways Agency operates over 500 salt spreaders, snow ploughs and snow blowers nationally, and has already undertaken extensive salt-spreading this week to help keep traffic moving.

Drivers are advised to make sure they are properly prepared for the conditions by checking weather and traffic conditions before they set out and by driving appropriately for the conditions and be equipped with warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade.

Up-to-date information on road conditions on England's motorways and major A roads is available on the Highways Agency website at www.highways.gov.uk/trafficinfo or by calling 08457 504030. For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk or check local media.

Notes to editors

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. It manages, maintain and improve England’s motorways and major A roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and major A roads is available:
- From our Traffic Radio service, available on DAB digital radio and the Internet at www.trafficradio.org.uk. To tune into the DAB service, simply press the "scan" button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach "Traffic Radio".
- From the Internet at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or www.highways.gov.uk/mobile if using a phone or mobile device.
Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call.
- By phone from the Highways Agency 24-hour voice activated phone service on 08700 660 115.  (Calls from BT residential landlines to 0870 numbers will cost no more than 8p per minute; call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary).

3. For more general information about the Highways Agency and its work, visit the Highways Agency website www.highways.gov.uk, or telephone the Highways Agency Information Line on 08457 50 40 30 at any time (Calls to 0845 numbers will cost no more than 4p per minute from BT residential landlines. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary).

Safe driving in severe weather
* Before you set out, check local and national weather forecasts. Listen to travel bulletins on the radio. Be equipped with warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade.  
* Up-to-date information on road conditions on England’s motorways and trunk roads is available on the Highways Agency website at www.highways.gov.uk/trafficinfo or by calling 08457 504030. For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk or check to local media or the Highways Agency's Traffic Radio service on DAB or www.trafficradio.org.
* It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions. Keep your distance.  Allow extra room to slow down and stop.  Slow down and avoid making any sharp driving movements.
* If the weather becomes severe, don’t drive unless you have to – delay your journey until it improves.  Give our winter fleet time to get out & do their job.

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Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk