New campaign launched to make roads safer this winter

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DRIVERS across Hartlepool and East Durham are being urged to get ready for the grip of winter.

The Highways Agency is encouraging people to be ready for severe weather as part of its ‘Make Time for Winter’ campaign.

Research by the Agency shows that 49 per cent of drivers ignore severe weather warnings, while 29 per cent of drivers do not prepare their vehicle for winter – potentially putting themselves and others at risk.

Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “It’s important drivers take a few minutes to check their vehicles, plan their journeys, check the weather forecast and carry an emergency kit.

“In the most severe weather, they should even consider whether their journey is really necessary before they set out.”

The Highways Agency, which operates and maintains motorways and strategic roads in England, has over 500 salt spreaders, ploughs and snow blowers on standby at over 100 depots to help keep traffic moving.

The Agency encourages drivers to take some simple steps including:

Check your vehicle – fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres – before setting out;

Be prepared with an emergency kit in your vehicle, including warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch, a spade, and any regular medication;

Listen to radio travel bulletins;

If the weather is severe, consider whether your journey is essential or travel at a different time. In winter, the weather can change quickly so always be prepared for bad weather

Remember that even when roads have been treated with salt, the local road layout or landscape can mean a greater risk of ice forming, such as on bends or under overhanging trees.

For more advice on being ready for severe weather, visit the ‘Make Time for Winter’ pages at

For detailed information on local and national weather conditions, visit the Met Office website at