Motoring|

Drivers Face More Winter Weather

Snow Covered RoadOn Tuesday afternoon, the Met Office stepped up its number of severe weather warnings for the week due to a huge snow storm and hurricane-force winds set to cause disruption across the UK. Most of the UK will be hit by the band of snow – from the West Midlands, through the north west of England and over all of Scotland.

Meanwhile, the east coast of England and Scotland are forecast to get hit with up to 80mph winds. According to experts, polar weather from the north is moving across the country, and freezing temperatures are due to last through the end of the week. London, the South West and South East are the only areas that will avoid the worst of the weather.

Met Office forecaster Dan Williams says there is a risk of snow as far south as Birmingham from Thursday evening. There could be around 20cm to 30cm on hills and 5cm to 10cm at lower altitudes. People should be aware of the difficult weather conditions, including transport impacts like drifting and potential blizzards.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown says that Transport Scotland’s Multi-Agency Response Team (MART) – which includes police, road operating firms, rail operators and the Met Office – is due to stay open until Friday night at the least after worsening weather conditions were predicted. Many commuters have been tested this week, and it makes sense that the MART’s opening hours are extended. They are continuing to prepare for the next phase of severe weather, but disruption can’t be ruled out altogether.

Brown continued that an accident involving an HGV can’t be resolved easily or quickly. Specialist heavy duty equipment is need to move or recover HGVs, and the time it takes can be prolonged. They have worked with the Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association to keep severe weather planning up-to-date. HGV drivers are also able to contact the Traffic Scotland Operator through a Freight Scotland Hotline in order to inform them of traction issues experienced on the network, which will help inform operating companies of treatment priorities.

Brown also advised the public to continue checking the Traffic Scotland website and listening to radio reports for updates. Work is being done around the clock, and they will do all they can to keep the country moving through the more treacherous conditions expected for the rest of the week. They are using an average 130 gritter vehicles every day to continue treating trunk roads. If disruptions do happen, they have to be sure their responses are as effective as possible. They appreciate the patience of motorists who have been delayed by travel disruption already this week, he added.

 

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