Roads are so treacherous that drivers should stay put – even if it means postponing ChristmasDon’t travel, say police forces and the AA, even if it means postponing Christmas. Ice-locked roads and the prospect of a further four inches of snow falling today (Christmas Eve) have prompted calls for drivers to stay put – even if it means delaying celebrations – until the weather improves.
At least 16 people so far have died as a result of the ice and snow. Temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing today, leaving little chance of the ice melting.
The Daily Mail reports that most roads most likely to affected by bad weather and heavy traffic today are expected to be the M1, M4 and M11 out of London, the M6 around Manchester and the Tyne Tunnel.
The AA said it expected the roads to be treacherous in many parts, including black ice.
'If possible, stay at home for Christmas where you will be safe,’ said the AA. 'If you have planned to visit relatives or friends try to postpone Christmas for a day or two and celebrate it on Boxing Day or December 27, when the weather is expected to improve.
'Obviously, with Christmas almost upon us some people are going to take the risk to travel, but that could prove a very dangerous and expensive mistake.'
Hampshire Police have advised motorists not to go out unless their journey is absolutely essential. After a string of crashes, Chief Superintendent Matthew Greening said: 'It seems a lot of people were not really aware of the dangerous conditions until they got out.'
The Highways Agency, responsible for gritting motorways and major trunk roads, said it was closely monitoring conditions and using continuous salt treatments on high-risk routes.