MOTORISTS are being warned to be careful after the first snows of the winter fell across East Sussex this morning.
Minor snow flurries fell across the region mid-morning, but not enough to settle. Disruption was minimal, though roads in some remote parts of the county were hazardous.
The county got off lightly compared to other parts of the region with wintry showers causing major disruption in the Home Counties forcing the closures of snow-clogged runways at Stansted and Luton airports.
Although the next couple of days is expected to see temperatures pick up slightly, the outlook over the weekend is for more frozen weather across East Sussex, dipping to a low of minus 1c on Saturday.
Sussex Police have reminded drivers to stay safe on the roads as the weather becomes colder.
Police are encouraging drivers to think about adapting their driving to meet the weather conditions of the road and give more time for a slower journey.
Inspector Phil Duffy from the Road Policing Unit said: “Make sure you have enough fuel for your journey and extra in case you get stuck, check your fluid levels, electrical functions such as lights, indicators, battery and that your tyres are in a good condition with plenty of tread. Screen wash should also be kept topped up as road spray quickly reduces your visibility.
“Please ensure that your mobile phone has sufficient charge and you are well prepared, taking food and warm drinks and clothing during long journeys.
“Before setting off drivers should make sure that mirrors and all windows and lights are clear from ice, frost or condensation. On dark, cold mornings it is all too easy to jump in your car and drive off, but it is important that you have a good view of the road all around you from the start.
“Remember stopping distances increase considerably and keep your speed appropriate to the conditions. The best advice for slippery conditions is to keep things smooth and avoid sudden turning, braking or acceleration.”
It’s the Highways Agency which operates and maintains motorways and strategic roads in England. With more than 500 winter vehicles including salt spreaders, plougs and snow blowers at 100 UK depots, it says it is well prepared for ice and snow.
Using data from the Met Office and on-road weather stations, it is able to treat the strategic road network before road temperatures fall below freezing. To do this, it has over a quarter of a million tonnes of salt in stock.
The Agency is encouraging drivers to take some simple steps themselves:
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 travel bulletins on the radio.
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: www.highways.gov.uk/winter.