WEATHER: Drivers urged to avoid M1 and M62 motorways due to forecast for snow

Cars navigate through the snow earlier this month. Picture by Charles Purvey.
Cars navigate through the snow earlier this month. Picture by Charles Purvey.

Drivers are being urged to avoid parts of the M62 and M1 motorways tonight after Highways England issued a severe weather alert for snow.

The agency has given an amber 'be prepared' alert for the North, which will come into force from 7pm this evening until 5am tomorrow.

It is advising motorists to avoid trans-Pennine roads including the M62 between junctions 21 and 25, the A628 and A6, as well as the M1 between junctions 35 at Rotherham and 47 at Garforth, the M606 near Bradford and the M621 near Leeds.

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “Our gritter drivers will be out treating our roads around the clock but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.

“Make sure you keep your distance and reduce your speed if you need to travel because, even in conditions that seem normal and when the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh salt has not been worked into the carriageway.

“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if they really need to travel.”

Up to 10cm of snow is forecast for higher routes and The Met Office has also issued warnings for snow and ice in the area on Saturday and Sunday.

Highways England said it would work to keep traffic moving on the motorways and major roads.

Nicola Maxey from the Met Office said: “It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest Met Office forecast and warnings for your area to ensure you’re up to date with the latest situation.

“You can do this by checking the Met Office website for the daily forecast or our warnings page, or you could download our weather app which will ensure you can keep up to date while you are out and about. With the latest weather information for your area, you will be able to prepare for what is in store and plan your activities accordingly.”