Traffic and travel

Advice for driving in winter conditions

  • Make sure your journey is absolutely necessary.
  • If you do need to drive, stick to main roads that have been treated with salt (driving on salt actually helps it to melt the ice).
  • Make sure you check the status of the roads around the city, and the county, before travelling in cold weather or when snow is forecast.
  • When driving, travel at a lower speed and leave extra room between you and the car in front. Stopping distances increase on wet/icy roads.
  • Make sure your car is well maintained. Tyres should be well inflated and have a deep tread. Make sure that there is sufficient anti-freeze in your coolant to prevent your radiator freezing overnight or while driving. You should also check your battery to make sure it is charged if you have not used your car for a while.
  • If driving behind a gritter, make sure to leave plenty of space in front and do not attempt to overtake, there may be un-cleared snow ahead of the vehicle or ice.

You can also get the latest traffic information from Highways England, or see live road conditions on our weather webcam page.

Emergency Winter Kits 

Everyone should consider having an Emergency Winter Kit in their car. Carrying the following items could be lifesaving if you were to become stranded:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and spare batteries - or a wind-up torch
  • Warm clothes and blankets for everyone
  • Boots
  • First aid kit
  • Jump leads
  • A shovel
  • Road atlas
  • Sunglasses (the low winter sun and glare off snow can be dazzling)
  • A portable phone charger
  • In addition, before commencing your journey supplement your emergency kit with food, hot drinks and any medication that your or your passengers may need. 

Emergency Winter Kit Infographic

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