Highways England is advising drivers to continue to take care when driving as, even though the weather is improving, there are still some pockets of snow and ice in place across large parts of the country.
Although snowfall has started to subside, there is still a chance of snowfall in the North East and across the Pennines, and temperatures are set to remain just above freezing overnight and into Sunday morning. Highways England’s teams of traffic officers, inspectors and gritting crews are working around the clock in the extreme weather conditions to keep roads open across the country.
The majority of Highways England’s network is fully operational today. Throughout today, the M62, A628 Woodhead Pass, A1 and the A303 all fully reopened. However, in the South West the A46 is closed in both directions between the A420 and the A4 due to 12 foot snow drifts, while in the North West, the A66 is closed westbound between the A1(M) and A67 (Bowes), and eastbound between the B6542 (Appleby) and A1 (Scotch Corner).
Highways England has been working closely with local authorities and the emergency services to assist drivers and affected by these closures to get them on their way as safely and soon as possible.
Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “Even though the weather is improving, we’re working around the clock to keep our motorways and major A-roads open following the heavy snowfall over the past week. Although the risk of further snow has largely passed, we will be working continuously to treat our roads and keep them free from disruption.
“We are encouraging road users to take extra care when driving, particularly in the South West, Pennine areas and Northumberland.
“Plan your journey carefully, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel and before you set off, make sure vehicle is ready for your journey and is clear of snow.
“Anyone thinking of using the roads should be advised to keep their distance and reduce speed, because even in conditions that seem normal, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh grit has not been worked into the carriageway.”
Highways England is advising drivers to pay attention to messages on the overhead electronic signs and listen for radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or by following Highways’ England’s regional Twitter feeds at @HighwaysNEAST, @HighwaysYORKS, @HighwaysEMIDS, @HighwaysWMIDS, @HighwaysEAST and @HighwaysSEAST.