Tuesday, November 17, 2009

British Drivers Urged to Prepare for Winter

Last Years Example Shouldn’t be Forgotten
Shipping News Feature

UK – As the winter rolls in, British drivers are being encouraged to be prepared and to pay more attention to weather and industry warnings so as to avoid some of the chaotic scenes that beset the UK last year.

Freight drivers and fleet managers are reminded to check the Highways Agency website regularly so as to prevent avoidable delays to their vehicles caused by weather and also to be prepared for being caught out in stuck traffic should serious conditions set in.

Martin Hobbs, the Highways Agency’s Head of Severe Weather Strategy, said:

“Although we’re well prepared for winter, we need road users to play their part too. Not every journey is essential in severe weather, and our survey shows that sometimes people head out anyway without taking steps to avoid being caught out.

“So we are asking drivers to carry out simple vehicle checks before they set out; to carry a severe weather emergency kit in their vehicles; and to monitor the traffic and weather conditions and plan their journeys by using our website, listening to DAB digital ‘Traffic Radio’ or local radio stations, or by calling our information line (08457 50 40 30).”

The Agency states that a severe weather emergency kit should include the following items: an ice scraper and de-icer, a torch, warm clothes and a blanket or sleeping bag, a pair of boots, a first-aid kit, battery jump leads, a spade if it’s likely to snow, food and drink.

In addition, high-sided vehicles drivers should pay particular attention to the strong winds warning alerts. Developed in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association (RHA), colour-coded alerts will be communicated through radio bulletins, the Highways Agency “Traffic Radio” service and through the FTA and RHA membership network.

Whilst the Met Office is currently predicting an average temperature warmer than last year those who have to deal with the mendacious British weather know all too well how fickle it can be at this time of year. Make like a boy scout – be prepared.

(pic: Thanks to the Highways Agency)