The ‘Snozone’ indoor slope at Milton Keynes provided plenty of the ‘white stuff’ for the launch of the Highways Agency’s 2013 winter driving campaign.
The Highways Agency, which manages 4,300 miles of motorways and major A roads in England, says that it often faces an uphill task promoting its ‘be prepared’ campaign before winter kicks in. But it was downhill all the way as skiers and snowboarders built a slalom course out of traffic cones borrowed from a traffic officer vehicle parked on the slope.
Research by the Highways Agency shows that around half of drivers in England do not carry out pre-winter checks on their vehicle, and 53% do not even carry de-icer.It also shows that 28% of drivers do not carry any of the items in the Highways Agency’s suggested emergency kit.
Robert Goodwill, roads minister, said: “The Highways Agency does all it can to keep the roads open during severe weather. But drivers need to play their part too by making simple vehicle checks, carrying a few important items and planning their journey according to the weather. In very severe weather, drivers need to consider whether their journey is really necessary.”
Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways Agency traffic management director, says: “The Highways Agency is well-prepared for ice and snow. We have over 500 salt spreading vehicles, ploughs and snow blowers, and 270,000 tonnes of salt already in stock.
“Using detailed weather forecasts, we treat the road network before road temperatures fall below freezing – often at night in preparation for peak traffic periods.
“But that doesn’t mean people should drive as they normally would – they still need to take care, as they would during any kind of adverse weather, and plan ahead.”
For more information contact Mik Barton, Highways Agency national campaigns manager, on 0121 678 8535.