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Advice and tips on bad weather driving

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Salting, snow clearing and more

Staffordshire County Council maintains the vast majority of roads and highways in Lichfield District - find out how Staffordshire County Council treat icy roads, and plan ahead to keep Staffordshire on the move.

Visit The Highways Agency to find out about any roadworks in your area.

Your guide to winter maintenance from Staffordshire County Council

Winter can present some unpleasant and dangerous conditions. We want to make sure your winter journey in Staffordshire is safe and trouble free - whatever the weather. To do we have a host of tools at our disposal to monitor the state of the roads, and a fleet of vehicles and specialist equipment to do the work: 

  • High quality road condition forecasting using road sensors, computer analysis and the meteorological office. We know when to salt before the roads start to freeze.

  • Experienced decision makers using state of the art computer software to manage winter maintenance operations.

  • Responsive service provision aiming to treat priority routes within two hours from start of salting.

  • High quality equipment including purpose-built salt spreading and snow ploughing vehicles, which are able to lay down precise quantities of salt to deal with the prevailing conditions.

Road salting

42% of the road network is salted at a cost of around £27,500 per treatment - amounting to a total expenditure of £2.4 million, in an average winter. 

Snow clearing

Snow is cleared progressively starting with the most heavily trafficked roads. 

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Driving in bad conditions

Is your vehicle up to it?

So it can cope with conditions, your vehicle needs to be ready for winter journeys. However, always consider whether a journey in adverse conditions is absolutely necessary. Check points: 

  • Battery condition

  • Tyres properly inflated and check tread depth

  • Correct concentration of anti-freeze/coolant

  • Windows clean with good visibility

  • Lights clean and working correctly

  • Wipers in good condition and washer reservoir full

  • Sufficient fuel for your journey (allow extra amount)

  • Spade, old matting/sacking

  • Torch

  • Blanket

  • Thermos flask (with hot drink)

  • Warm Clothing

  • Snack food (chocolate/biscuits)

  • Screen scraper and de-icer

Be aware!

  • Not all roads are salted

  • Take special care on housing estates and lightly trafficked roads.

  • Putting salt on roads helps prevent the formation of ice. However, salt can be washed from the road by rain or melting snow.

  • Salt spreading vehicles can also be delayed by bad weather or heavy traffic.

  • Salt becomes less effective in extreme conditions.

  • The Highway Authority normally treats major routes as a priority, meaning that other roads do not receive attention straight away.

  • Therefore it is important to remember that on untreated road you must drive with extreme caution.

  • Always remember that when driving in winter conditions you need to take extra care.

  • Be prepared, as even if you start a journey in reasonable weather, conditions can quickly deteriorate.

  • The Highway Code advises that in icy or snowy weather;

  • Before starting your journey, clear snow and ice from windows, mirrors, lights and number plates of your vehicle. Make sure the windows are de-misted thoroughly.

  • Stopping distances can be ten times greater than on dry roads, so keep well behind the vehicle in front.

  • Be extra gentle on the controls when the roads are icy, as any sudden movement could cause you to skid.

  • Drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible with low revs to avoid wheel spin.

  • When approaching bends and hazards, brake well before you reach the bend and try to brake only when travelling in a straight line, otherwise you might skid. Slow right down before turning and steer smoothly, avoiding sudden movements.

  • Check your grip on the road surface when there is snow or ice by choosing a safe place to brake gently. If the steering feel light this may indicate black ice and your vehicle losing grip on the road.

Remember to:

  • Keep your speed down

  • Avoid harsh steering

  • Brake and accelerate slowly

  • Beware of vulnerable road users e.g. pedestrians and cyclists

  • Use dipped headlights and fog lights in fog and snow

If you get into difficulty:

  • Stay in your vehicle and keep the engine running (but switch off if you are stuck in a snow drift).

  • Make the vehicle/yourself as visible as possible to other road users/rescuers.

  • Keep Warm

  • If you use a mobile phone, give accurate details of your location.

  • Before setting off, ask yourself;

  • Is the journey really necessary in these conditions? Public transport may be appropriate.

  • Listen to local/national radio reports.

  • RDS reports will give useful information.

  • Based on the information obtained, consider again whether the journey is absolutely necessary.

  • If the journey is essential, inform someone of your leaving/destination points and the estimated time of arrival.

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Local weather reports

Touch FM

Frequency: 101.6 FM & 102.4 FM

BBC Radio WM

Frequency: 96.5 FM 

Heart FM

Frequency: 100.7 FM 

Smooth Radio

Frequency: 105.7 FM

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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.