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Road chief urges St Helens drivers to check snow forecast
4:08pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
The Highways Agency is warning road users in the North to check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling tomorrow (Friday) and over the weekend as heavy rain is expected to turn to snow - bringing blizzard conditions in some areas.
The agency, which manages motorways and major A roads in England, has issued an amber alert for an area covering the north of England, Midlands and East.
Heavy snow is forecast overnight for St Helens and into Friday morning, becoming lighter for a time before turning heavy again later in the day Difficult driving conditions are being forecast as snow falls over the area during the early hours of Friday morning, then spreading towards Manchester and further north by rush hour.
Dean Snowden, Met Office forecaster based in the Highways Agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre said: “The combination of snow and strong winds will mean blizzard conditions, with roads such as the M62 and Woodhead Pass first to bear the brunt tomorrow (Friday) morning.
"After spreading across most of the northern parts, it looks very likely the severe weather will then edge southwards again on Saturday."
Highways Agency traffic officers across the region will be monitoring weather and traffic conditions around the clock and will be on hand to quickly respond to incidents.
Steve Crosthwaite, head of the Agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre said: “Winter certainly isn't over yet and there's not been much rest for our gritting fleet. We are doing everything we can to ensure our roads are affected as little as possible by the adverse weather but we would urge road users to play their part by checking weather forecasts and traffic conditions before they set out and to drive with extra care."
Information about a winter driving kit and other advice to help motorists be prepared for winter is on the Highways Agency website at www.highways.gov.uk/winter.
Information on road conditions on England's motorways and trunk roads is available on the Highways Agency website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or by calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Traffic information is available on Twitter by following one of eight regional channels with winter driving information on @winterhighways and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/winterhighways )