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Make time for winter

The Highways Agency is prepared.  It has a fleet of more than 500 winter service vehicles on standby and colleagues from the Met Office are in its national traffic operations centre to provide vital information.

Are you prepared? Check your vehicle is ready for winter too - and always carry an emergency kit.

Before you set off - just a few minutes checking the weather forecast and traffic reports for your journey could make all the difference.

The Highways Agency winter teams need time and space to do their job. By planning your journey around the weather it helps allow their crews the time and space they need to get ahead of you and keep the network clear for you.

The Agency's key messages for road users are:

Advice for drivers of goods and high-sided vehicles

An 'alert status' system is in operation to help the road haulage industry and drivers of goods and high-sided vehicles respond to warnings of severe weather or snow. There are two levels of alert, red and amber:

  • An amber alert will advise drivers to take care because it is highly likely traffic conditions will be affected by the weather. From this they should then monitor traffic and travel radio bulletins and consider using a different route to avoid the area of severe weather.
  • A red alert will only be issued under exceptional circumstances when journeys would be affected on the Highways Agency's road network by severe weather or snow. For the duration of a red alert, drivers of goods and high-sided vehicles should leave the network and find a safe place to park.

You will be informed of the alert status through traffic reports on the radio, and through the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) membership networks.

When a severe weather warning is issued by the Met Office, the Highways Agency aims to help you with your journey by providing advice through radio bulletins, TV, on our website, and on overhead electronic messaging signs.

Follow the alerts.


Observing these alerts will help the Highways Agency and emergency services to maintain or restore normality to the road network as quickly as possible during periods of severe weather.