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More winter weather warnings for Yorkshire


8:58am 9th February 2012

Freezing rain and ice alert for drivers across the North

Freezing rain turning to ice on sub-zero road surfaces could lead to very hazardous driving conditions across the North over the next few days the Highways Agency is warning.

Drivers are being advised that a combination of sub-zero road surface temperatures and a forecast of rain showers - as well as sleet or snow on higher ground - means road users should exercise extra care and vigilance when taking to roads.

Showers are predicted to hit parts of the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber from tonight, lasting until late tomorrow morning. Further showers later tomorrow are also possible.

Highways Agency contractors are already routinely treating the strategic network across the North with salt with several treatments planned over the course of the next 12 to 18 hours. As well as liaising with local police forces, the Highways Agency winter service teams right across the North will be patrolling to monitor conditions and re-treat the network where necessary but the unpredictability and brevity of showers does mean that there is a possibility of ice patches forming on roads overnight.

Due to the forecast of showers, some of them likely to be highly-localised, the Highways Agency is advising drivers to check travel conditions before they set off on journeys and take extra care, including leaving extra time for travelling, once they are on the strategic road network.

Highways Agency Traffic Officers at both the North East and North West regional control centres at Wakefield and Newton-le-Willows respectively, will be monitoring the motorway network and where possible setting signs giving advice to drivers.

On-road Traffic Officers will be on standby to respond quickly to any incidents with the Highways Agency's contractors and vehicle removal service also on alert. Where possible, planned roadworks are also being suspended.

Chris Holehouse, Highways Agency Asset Delivery Manager for Yorkshire and the North East, said:

 "We have been and will be treating the network routinely and regularly right through this current cold snap. We have been and will be patrolling the network and re-treating roads where necessary, for example in response to rain and freezing rain showers.

"However, these showers can be highly localised and hard to predict so drivers have a key role to play in checking weather reports and planning for their journeys before leaving home. We strongly advise drivers to exercise extra care and vigilance over the next couple of days."

Advice for drivers includes:

o Even if it hasn't rained overnight, a heavy frost can still make roads slippy.
o Watch out for icy conditions under bridges, overhanging trees and exposed roads.
o Allow extra time in the morning to de-ice your car windows - and then clean all of them so you have a good view.
o On a cold, clear morning there is a greater risk of being dazzled by low sun through a frosty windscreen. Include sunglasses in your winter driving kit.
Information about a winter driving kit and other advice to help motorists be prepared for winter is on the Highways Agency website click here.

Drivers should check their local media for updated weather and travel advice before setting out on journeys.

If they are travelling they shoud keep up to date with weather and travel advice, heed warnings and electronic message signs and drive to conditions - leaving extra time for journeys and extra room for braking and avoiding sudden manoeuvres such as braking or changing lanes suddenly.

Up-to-date information on road conditions on England's motorways and trunk roads is also available on the Highways Agency website here.

or by calling the Highways Agency Information Line at 0300 123 5000.

Regional Twitter feeds are also available with a full list of links here.

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