AMBER snow warnings have been issued across Britain meaning there is a possibility of risk to life. So how should motorists prepare their car for long journeys in these wintry conditions?
Met Office has issued amber and yellow weather warnings for snow and ice for much of the UK, predicting heavy snow will fall across the country and reach up to 3.9 inches (10cm). Frank Bird from Highways England has warned motorists to question themselves if their journey is “absolute necessary”, and given a few tips for those travelling in the tricky conditions. Mr Bird told Sky News: “They really need to plan and prepare, that’s the key to everything. Have a look, question yourself is the journey absolutely necessary, or is it something that I can leave until tomorrow to do.
“Sort of things that you need to do before you set off is check your hazard lights are working, easiest thing there is to put your four-way hazard lights on so that will show you that they are working.
“Make sure your lights are working, it’s clean and tidy, we’ve got loads of good visibility.
“Really really important thing here as well is your washer bottle, the good clue is if it flicks up then it’s probably the washer bottle, not to use the other tank which is your anti-freeze.
“Then just pour in a little bit of fluid until it tops up, and there we are that’s that one topped up, and that will probably keep you going for a good long journey.
“From the south I can get to Scotland using the tank just the once, and then top it up in Scotland to comeback the other way.”
Sky News presenter Lisa Dowd asked: “One problem I always have is the washers freezing up on the motorway and then your screen getting dirtier and dirtier. Anything you can do to combat that?”
Mr Bird replied: “Yes, a really good thing before you start is to make sure you put a thin film of something like asher bottle fluid on the screen as well, so you start off wth a good screen.
“If visibility does become a problem and as you say your jets have frozen up, then best thing to do is get off the motorway at the next available safe place.
“Let the engine warm your washer bottle fluid up and then you will find within a few minutes you’ll be able to resume again.”
Referring to whether motorists should put the washer bottle fluid in neat, Mr Bird explained: “In the winter period we always say put it in neat, don’t mix it with any water because once you start diluting it it loses some of its ability to work in very very cold conditions.”
Met Office issued an amber warning of snow for London and South East England, South West England and Wales, meaning there is a possibility of the risk to life.
The snow warning, which is in place until 9pm on Thursday, said: “Heavy snow likely on Thursday afternoon and evening. Travel delays on roads are likely, stranding some vehicles and passengers
“Some delays and cancellations to rail travel are likely. There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off. Power cuts are likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.”
Met Office also issued yellow snow and ice warnings for East Midlands, East of England, London and South East England, South West England, Wales and West Midlands, until 1pm on Friday.