Going to the sales? Be prepared!

Bargain hunters and Christmas shoppers are being urged to watch out for the roads, particularly as temperatures plummet on Boxing Day.


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With most commuters on their holidays and Network Rail planning works to the lines around Reading, the roads will be full of shoppers and people planning Christmas visits. Combined with wintry weather, it can cause delays to people’s journeys.

Network Rail will be working on the line between Basingstoke and London Paddington between Christmas Eve and January 3, and buses replacing trains between Ascot and Aldershot over December 27 and 28.

The Highways Agency wants people to plan ahead and ensure they know what the latest road conditions are like.

Stephen Bush, Emergency Planning Manager at the Highways Agency said: “At this time of the year many parts of the road network can become very busy. This, combined with wintry weather, can cause delays to your journey. That’s why we advise road users to keep themselves informed by listening to local radio stations, checking the weather forecast and, if you are going to a major retail centre, by checking out their website in advance.”

Road users can also check the Highways Agency Christmas information page for traffic and weather update contact details as well as information about which roads and dates are likely to be busiest.

The Agency also encourages drivers to take some simple steps during winter:

  • Check your vehicle – fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres – before setting out.
  • Be prepared with an emergency kit in your vehicle, including ice-scraper, de-icer, warm clothes and blankets, torch, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, a spade, a road atlas and sunglasses (for the winter glare).
  • Plan your journeys. Check weather and travel conditions before and during your journey.
  • If the weather is very severe, consider whether your journey is essential or travel at a different time. In winter, the weather can change quickly so always be prepared for bad weather
  • Remember that even when roads have been treated with salt, ice can still form, particularly on bends or under overhanging trees.
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