Essex travel: Road warnings for the winter

UTTLESFORD road users are being urged to take more care as winter sets in and driving conditions become more hazardous.

After the clocks went back, pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and road signs are more difficult to see during the darker evenings, say road authority Essex County Council.

Cabinet member for highways and transportation Norman Hume added: “All road users, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, drivers or motorcyclists, need to take extra care when travelling during winter.

“Pedestrians can take simple precautions such as wearing fluorescent clothing during the daytime and reflective in hours of darkness.

“Cyclists can ensure they are using suitable lights and reflectors. Drivers and motorcyclists can ensure that vehicles are suitably prepared for the winter weather.”

Whether travelling on busy streets or rural roads, it is important to be visible to other road users.

Accident statistics reveal that children and older people are more vulnerable at this time of year and should take extra care and brighten up by wearing something bright and reflective.

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However, it’s not just pedestrians who need to be more careful.

As the cold weather bites, the council urged drivers to be prepared to deal with ice, snow, rain and low sun which are all particularly hazardous in the winter season.

It has released a simple checklist to help drivers stay safe – just remember, CHECK:

• Check: for the latest information on your journey - visit, phone the traffic line on 0845 600 0110, listen to radio for live information.

• Highway: Has your road been treated? Remember not every road on the network is treated in icy conditions so reconsider your journey if your route isn’t gritted. Check to find out

• Extra time: Allow time for your journey, perhaps using a longer route to get to work or school and do not take risks by travelling faster than the conditions allow. Drive with extra caution in icy conditions, even if the road has been gritted

• Clear your car of snow and ice and ensure it is in good condition. Check tyres are the right pressure with plenty of tread and that the battery is fully charged

• Kit: Pack an emergency kit with warm clothing, a mobile phone, a torch with fresh batteries, some non-perishable snacks, and bottled water or juice, which can be useful to have if you’re stuck for a while.