As the Christmas festivities end and the New Year getaway begins, road and travel agencies are urging people to take care while driving in hazardous conditions.
And following the first flurries of snow on Boxing Day, the Met Office has issued a further yellow weather warning for ice over the next couple of days, adding to the dangers on the county’s traffic networks.
Stephen Bush, Emergency Planning Manager at the Highways Agency commented: “At this time of the year many parts of the road network can become very busy.
“This, combined with wintry weather, can cause delays to your journey.
“That’s why we advise road users to keep themselves informed by listening to local radio stations, checking the weather forecast and, if you are going to a major retail centre, by checking out their website in advance.”
A spokeman for the Met Office reiterated the warning, adding: “Widespread icy patches are expected to readily form on untreated surfaces, especially where snow cover exists or where wintry showers occur.
“The public should take extra care and be aware of the possibility of some disruption to travel.”
The HighwaysAgency also encouraged drivers to take some simple steps during winter such as preparing an emergency kit in your vehicle, including ice-scraper, de-icer, warm clothes and blankets, torch, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, a spade, a road atlas and sunglasses for the winter glare.
Plan your journeys and check weather and travel conditions before and during your journey.
If the weather is very severe, consider whether your journey is essential or travel at a different time. In winter, the weather can change quickly so always be prepared for bad weather
And remember that even when roads have been treated with salt, ice can still form, particularly on bends or under overhanging trees.
As now and blizzards swept through large parts of Britain on Boxing Day, many travellers were left stranded.
Four flights into Liverpool from Malta, Berlin and Bucharest were diverted to Manchester Airport, while a fifth from the Isle of Man returned to the island’s airport, a John Lennon Airport spokesman said. And more than 100,000 homes were left with power shortages as heavy snow wreaked havoc on electricity cables.
The Met Office had earlier said there was a 90 percent chance of severe cold, ice or snow in parts of England between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.
While temperatures could drop as low as minus 10C in some places at the start of the week as the cloud and wet weather gives way to clearer skies.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “As winter weather grips some areas of the country we would advise people intending to travel to check weather and local conditions before they set out.
“The Highways Agency and local highway authorities across the country are working hard to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.”
For more information on traffic and travel across Lancashire and the rest of the North West, drivers are urged to visit www.highways.gov.uk or contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Information on weather warnings and disruption can be found online at www.metoffice.gov.uk/