Prepare in advance: advice for motorists ahead of extreme heat weather
14 Jul 2022
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The Met Office has issued a warning for extreme heat for most of England from Sunday to Tuesday.
We're advising motorists and their passengers to be well prepared for any journeys being planned this weekend and early next week – including taking drinking water.
We're keen for everyone travelling on our roads during the heatwave to take extra precautions to keep safe and well.
We have advice pages on our website around travelling in the summer, and we'll continue to provide social media and traffic updates during the coming days.
Drivers considering travelling during the heatwave should:
- take a bottle of water before setting out to ensure you stay hydrated
- plan and leave plenty of time for journeys
- check the weather forecast for your destination
- check your vehicle before you leave
- check travel conditions before setting out and during journeys, where it is safe to do so.
"It is crucial for everyone to plan their journey in advance, so they are better prepared for the hot weather. Simple steps such as taking bottles of drinking water with you are really important to help keep you and your passengers hydrated, as well as checking your vehicle before you travel, including tyres, oil and coolant levels."Mel Clarke, Customer Service Director for Operations
The Met Office warning for extreme heat includes some information on what to expect, which could be relevant for people travelling on our roads over the weekend and early next week. The Met Office guidance says:
- delays on roads and road closures are possible with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays
- routes to coastal areas, lakes and rivers could be busier as significantly more people try to escape the heat.
Further weather advice and information can be found on the Met Office website.
To keep informed about driving conditions during journeys, motorists are advised to follow messages on overhead signs and listen to radio updates.
You can also call the National Highways Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Tips for driving in the summer
Our motorways and major A roads are highly resilient to extremes of weather, including hot weather. The design and build standards we apply to our roads are considered best practice and are adopted by other countries around the world.
During particularly hot weather, make sure your engine stays within the normal operating temperature range. If it begins to overheat, find somewhere safe to stop and allow it to cool down.
Checking your vehicle
We're advising drivers to plan their journeys in advance and carry out basic checks to make sure vehicles are roadworthy. Things to consider are:
Ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre including sidewall.
Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
Always keep your screen wash topped up with a good ratio of water and screen wash to maximise the cleaning efficiency so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen easily.
If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, your vehicle may fail its MoT.
Before setting out make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Running out of fuel can put you, your family and other road users at risk unnecessarily.
For people travelling to the Kent ports, drivers are also being reminded that Operation Brock is active on the M20. Operation Brock is a traffic management arrangement for traffic wishing to use Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover.
Drivers crossing the channel should:
- plan ahead and check before they travel
- leave plenty of extra time
- bring some supplies in case of delays (water, food etc)
- follow the signs when they get onto the M20
Drivers heading for the Kent ports can check on the status of Operation Brock.