Survey says motorists not prepared for winter

By on 13/01/2015 in News, Winter Alerts

The team at Amey’s Thimble Mill Lane depot in Birmingham prepare throughout the year for winter, and the gritters have already responded over 20 times to freezing temperatures since this season’s winter maintenance service began. However results of a recent survey carried out by Birmingham City Council’s highways partner, Amey, and ATS found that the majority of motorists in the Midlands aren’t as prepared for winter weather.

The survey of over 260 motorists from the Midlands focused on driving and vehicle safety in winter. The results showed that less than a third of motorists surveyed pack a basic winter resilience kit* and just under half didn’t know the UK minimum tyre tread depth for cars.

Results also showed that only one in four motorists recognise the role local authorities play in ensuring road safety during wintery weather. As well as working with Birmingham City Council, Amey crews also deliver winter services up and down the UK helping to keep motorists on the move.

Amey’s winter maintenance service covers 1,200 km of Birmingham’s road network each time that ice, frost or snow is predicted on road surfaces, about the same distance as it would be to drive from Birmingham to Berlin. The service includes a 25 strong fleet of state-of-the-art gritters with snow ploughs and the latest GPS technology, with local drivers on standby 24-hours a day, seven days a week, ready to respond as soon as severe weather is forecast.

Chris Lucas, Network Coordinator at Amey, said: “Our teams work hard all year round to ensure we are prepared for the winter weather. Our gritters have already been out this year and we would encourage motorists to think about how prepared they are for winter driving. Making sure basic safety checks have been carried out on vehicles and ensuring that you have essentials such as an ice scraper and blankets in the car could make all the difference.â€

Amey’s tips for driving in winter conditions

Before setting off:

• Ask yourself if the journey is really necessary
• Allow time to prepare the car; make sure all windows and mirrors are free from ice and snow and the heater has de-misted the inside
• Check the lights and wipers are in good working order
• Check the tyres are in good condition
• Pack a basic winter resilience kit*, including: ice scraper, de-icer, boots, shovel, first aid kit, sunglasses, jump leads, atlas or satnav, blankets and a torch.  Other items may include a mobile phone with a fully charged battery, tow rope, blankets, warning triangle, bottled water and snacks, salt / sand (to help clear snow or ice) or an old sack or rug (to put under the wheels if you do get stuck)

When driving:

• SLOW DOWN. Ice can still be present, even on a gritted route
• Remember stopping distances can be up to ten times further in icy conditions
• Always apply brakes gently. Release them and depress clutch if the car skids
• Manoeuvre carefully and gently
• Select second gear when pulling away, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin
• If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground


Notes to editors:

• In 2010, Amey won the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service contract to manage and maintain the city’s roads over the next 25 years. The contract will see a huge investment into the city’s road network and Amey is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver the contract. The works include refurbishment and improvement of the city’s roads, footways, bridges, tunnels, street lighting and traffic control systems. 

• Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.

• Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including utilities, highways, waste management, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.

For more information, contact Lara Thorns on 07843 368954, email 

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