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SEVERE WEATHER: HIGHWAYS AGENCY WARNS DRIVERS TO TAKE EXTRA CARE ON ROADS

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With heavy rain and strong winds forecast for many parts of the ...
With heavy rain and strong winds forecast for many parts of the

country over the next few days, the Highways Agency urges drivers to

take extra care on the roads.

Drivers, especially of high-sided vehicles, are advised to take extra

care during the very windy conditions forecast by the Met Office.

The agency is working with the police to ensure that disruption from

accidents and incidents is minimised and traffic kept moving.

The agency, which manages, operates and improves motorways and

all-purpose trunk roads in England, offers the following advice to

drivers:

* Heavy rain and spray are likely to lead to reduced visibility.

Drivers should slow down and keep well back from the vehicle

travelling in front because it takes longer to slow down and stop in

wet weather.

* After driving through floods, test your brakes before you continue

driving at higher speed.

* Drivers of high-sided vehicles or towing caravans should take extra

care when strong winds are forecast.

* Drivers are advised to check the latest information on weather and

road conditions before they set off, and during their journey.

For weather conditions:

* The Met Office website - www.metoffice.com

* Local radio broadcasts

and for road conditions:

* HA website - www.highways.gov.uk

* Highways Agency Information Line 0845 7504030

The agency is monitoring water levels and working with the police

where road lanes or carriageways have to be closed for safety reasons

after heavy rain. Together with local authorities we will establish

diversion routes where appropriate to minimise the impact to drivers.

Notes

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for

Transport, which manages, maintains and improves the network of trunk

roads and motorways in England on behalf of the secretary of state.

It works closely with other transport operators and with local

authorities to integrate the trunk road network with the rest of

England's roads and other forms of transport.

2. Information about roadworks and road conditions on the motorways

and trunk roads in England is available from the Highways Agency

Information Line on 08457 504030, and website:

www.highways.gsi.gov.uk

3. In 2002, the year for which the latest figures are available, five

roadworkers were killed and 29 seriously injured on Highways Agency

roads due to motor vehicle collisions

4. Safe driving through roadworks

Drivers approaching roadworks are advised to:

* Keep within the speed limit - it is there for your safety

* Get into the correct lane in good time - don't keep switching

* Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks

* Be alert for works traffic leaving or entering roadworks

* Keep a safe distance - there could be queues in front

* Observe all signs - they are there to help you

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