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Dark Nights: Get ready for winter driving
Friday 26th October, 2012

The nights are drawing in and the weather’s getting colder.

Whilst no one wants a repeat of some of the extreme winters of the last few years, the clocks going back means it’ll get dark earlier just as borough school children start their half term break.

As well as asking drivers to watch out for vulnerable pedestrians, Wigan Council road safety experts saying that the clock change is a ‘timely’ reminder to get the car ready for winter.

Even if the thick snow doesn’t happen again this year, the advice is if you are out and about in the car, ensure you’re prepared for the journey with a full tank of petrol and fully charged mobile. Take a bit of time now to check your oil, water and tyres. And if a freeze is forecast, inform people when you expect to arrive at your destination and have in the car a torch, shovel and a flask for a hot drink.

And if the weather deteriorates, remember that fog or falling snow cuts visibility: use dipped headlights. If visibility is below 100 metres or 328 feet, use fog lights front and back and drive at a speed that’ll allow you to stop within the distance you can see clearly.

“Wigan Council takes road safety – and pedestrian safety – extremely seriously,” says deputy leader Cllr David Molyneux. “The council’s winter maintenance team stand ready to keep the road network running if conditions deteriorate. I am proud of the work done each year on all our behalf by the gritting team.”

The depot team are starting their winter rota. The winter maintenance service operates from the end of October through to April each year. During this period a fleet of gritters, with a range of specialist equipment, are on standby 24 hours a day ready to treat the roads when required.

Duty officers monitor both road and weather conditions around the clock during the winter period, analysing all information available to enable them to make an informed decision on when to grit the roads.

If frost or ice is expected to form on roads or snow is anticipated, then the team carries out precautionary gritting of the priority highway network. This involves spreading rock salt onto the carriageway which helps to prevent both icy patches and snow accumulations forming.

As well as treating the roads and footpaths on a priority basis, the council also provides highway grit bins on a self-help basis for some steep minor roads.

The Highways Agency has responsibility for the M6 motorway running through the borough.

Relevant links can be found here:
www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/GettingAbout/HighwayMaintenance/WinterMaintenance.htm


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