Police warn of dangerous driving conditions

DRIVERS have been told to think of leaving work early to avoid snow-related rush hour problems.

Police say there are difficult driving conditions across the Northumbria Force, particularly in parts of Northumberland and along the coast.

Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert said: “Snow has fallen periodically throughout the day across our region on top of existing snow and ice.

“This is making driving conditions in places challenging and we are urging people to take extra care during the evening rush hour.

“We expect rush hour to be a little slower than usual due to the weather. I’d like people to think in advance about their journey home and consider whether it might be appropriate to set off a little early to avoid any rush hour problems.”

He added: “Before setting off for home, clear snow and ice from windows and headlights. It’s better to spend a few extra minutes making sure your windscreen is clear than risk an accident by only clearing a small area.

“Drivers should moderate their speed to match the conditions and should be aware, even on gritted roads, of the possibility of ice or black ice.

“Be aware that stopping distances are longer on wet or icy roads and drivers should maintain a safe distance from other road users.

“Motorists also need to keep a look out for pedestrians, who may be walking on the road to avoid icy pavements.

“We will continue to monitor weather forecasts and conditions across the force and will have officers out and about on the roads and in our communities overnight.

“I would ask everyone to remain alert and drive with care and consideration.”

Northumberland County Council will carry out precautionary gritting and plough snow where necessary from 4pm today and again at 4.30am tomorrow.

People are advised to beware of the risk of slippery conditions on roads and pavements and possible disruption to travel.

Any problem areas should be reported to customer services on 0845 600 6400, or by email to ask@northumberland.gov.uk