Warning to drivers as wintry weather hits the region

Gritters are on standby for the cold snap. Credit: PA

Drivers are being advised to prepare for wintry conditions as forecasts suggest ice and snow could hit the region this weekend.

After the second warmest start to November on record, forecasters predict that freezing air will descend from the arctic this weekend bringing extremely chilly weather.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning in force until 3pm on Saturday.

Gritters across the region have been out overnight.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “The forecast tells us temperatures are predicted to drop by 10 degrees with a chance of wintry showers falling on Hertfordshire over the weekend.

"Because the weather’s been so mild it’s unlikely any snow we might have will settle, but we want to make sure there’s no risk of surface water freezing on our roads. “Salt is the best material we have to treat ice and snow, but it's by no means perfect, so we recommend that residents take great care when driving or walking in ice or snow."

Terry Douris, Hertfordshire County Council

Winds in the Anglia region were gusting at more than 50 mph in the Anglia region on Saturday morning.

A tree was blown down at Roxton in Bedfordshire close to the A1 Black Cat roundabout.

Steve Ramsay stopped to clear debris with the help of another passer-by and they placed a high-vis jacket on the stump to warn other road users.

A tree blown down at Roxton in Bedfordshire close to the A1 Black Cat roundabout. Credit: Steve Ramsay

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Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Gritters are currently on standby following forecasts suggesting freezing temperatures in the county this weekend.

"We are fully prepared for the forecasted weather and focused on ensuring key routes are kept open and road surfaces are as safe as possible for drivers.

“The Council will play its part in keeping the roads safe but I would also advise drivers to take the necessary steps to prepare for the weather and to drive sensibly.”

Icicles at Killhope mine in County Durham on Saturday 21 November 2015 Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Essex County Council has produced a winter checklist of key items you could keep in your car during the cold season:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer

  • Bottled water

  • Snacks

  • A torch

  • Blanket, rug or sleeping bag

  • Battery jump leads

  • Shovel (to dig out a car in extreme snow)

  • Bits of carpet or thick cardboard (to place under driven wheels to help regain traction on ice or snow)