Express & Star

Motorists encouraged to plan ahead ahead of predicted snowfall

Motorists are being encouraged to plan their journeys as the region is set to be hit by snowfall.

Drivers have been encouraged to plan their journeys as the weather is set to turn snowy. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire .

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 and 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.

A spokesman for National Highways said: "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, is 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.

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, which means 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 can be found by going to or by calling the National Highways Information Line on: 0300 123 5000.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.