Highways Agency Ready For Winter

10 November 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 10 November 2011, 05:18

The Highways Agency have told Heart they're more prepared this winter - with 25 percent more grit than last year.

They're urging road users to make time for winter and ensure they are ready for severe weather.

Roads Minister Mike Penning said:

"The Highways Agency is ready for winter, but the experience of recent winters is that we must all play our part and be prepared.

"A few very simple steps taken now, such as putting together a severe weather emergency kit for your car, can reduce the risk of being caught out by the weather.

"Not every journey is essential in severe weather, but if you really must travel in the worst conditions, check your vehicle before you set out; take a severe weather emergency kit; check traffic and weather conditions and always plan your journey.

"For more information and advice I'd urge all drivers to make time for winter and visit the Highways Agency's website, where there are lots of tips to help keep winter journeys safe and trouble free."

The Highways Agency say they are well prepared for winter, with a fleet of 500 state of the art winter vehicles on stand-by, including more than 100 across the South East region, supported by tried and tested winter resilience plans.

The Agency has reviewed salt stock levels, and started this winter period with stocks of more than a quarter of a million tonnes - 25 percent more than at the same time last year.

Across the South East there are 25 dedicated winter service depots, patrolling 82 treatment routes.

As well as snow and ice, strong winds, heavy rain and thick fog can affect journeys in the winter season.

Met Office weather forecasters based at the Highways Agency's National Traffic Operations Centre will provide information on weather conditions across the motorway and trunk road network.

Alyson Bedford, Head of Government Business at the Met Office, said:

"We work closely with Highways Agency throughout the year and during the winter period our forecasters work with Highways Agency staff to provide them with the very latest weather forecasts.

"When making any journey always make sure you check the weather forecast for the latest weather information."