The RAC foundation has produced a report looking into winter resilience on the roads.
The report found that there was good preparation for the winter of 2012/2013 and that local highways authorities and councils were helped by generally good advance warning of the arrival of harsh weather. According to the report, “forecasting from the Met Office was to a high standard.” Also the majority of local highways authorities responded well to the snow and ice seen across much of the country earlier this year. There was no repeat of the salt shortages which helped create major disruption during the cold spells of winter 2009/10.
However the report said that as the climate appears to change we should not confuse extreme weather with rare weather, and if we continue to experience more frequent periods of inclement conditions then drivers will have to change their travel expectations and their view of what is ‘normal’.
Although there is evidence that more road users are taking notice of weather warning and being prepared, drivers need more advice on the potential benefits of winter tyres and ‘add-ons’ such as snow socks and snow chains. Drivers also need to be reminded of the importance of simple measures such as maintaining adequate tread depth on their normal tyres.