Shock for many drivers in Oldham, who woke up to frozen windscreens

Date published: 02 October 2019

Many drivers in Oldham woke up to frozen windscreens this morning, as temperatures dipped overnight.

Motorists in Uppermill, High Crompton and Saddleworth had to break out the scrapers for the first time since last winter.

Despite record-high temperatures over the summer, Highways England say they were preparing for the coming cold weather to keep drivers moving.

October marks the beginning of their winter season.

Major A roads and motorways in our region have been prepared to counteract the icy conditions that are to come.

Highways England's winter and severe weather team leader, Paul Furlong, said: "It's never too early to prepare for winter. Whether people are heading to friends and family or commuting to work, we care about people's journeys and when the wintry weather does arrive our specially trained gritter drivers will be ready to work around the clock to keep traffic moving.
"Safety is our priority and we're asking drivers to make sure they and their vehicles are also prepared for any eventuality. Remember, this winter, before you set out, check your vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast. 

"If conditions are poor, and journeys are not essential, consider waiting until the weather gets better - this should improve journeys, and give our gritters a chance to treat the roads." 
During severe winter weather drivers are urged to follow this advice:

In snow and ice: Drivers should stick to the main roads where they can and only travel if necessary. Drivers are also encouraged to make sure they have a winter kit in their vehicle, including an ice scraper and de-icer, warm clothes and blankets and sunglasses to cope with the low winter sun.

In high winds: Drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible. Lorries, caravans and motorbikes are at particular risk.

In heavy rain: Drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen.

In fog: Drivers should switch on their fog lights and not use lights on full beam as the fog will reflect the light back. If drivers really cannot see, they should consider stopping until it is safe to continue.

In freezing rain: Drivers should keep their distance and reduce their speed - black ice is difficult to see, so even when conditions seem normal, it can be slippery leading to very dangerous driving conditions.

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