New alert system for HGV drivers

A NEW system of alerts to warn lorry drivers about severe weather conditions has been launched today.The severe weather alert has been launched by the Highways Agency in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA).

A NEW system of alerts to warn lorry drivers about severe weather conditions has been launched today.

The severe weather alert has been launched by the Highways Agency in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA).

The alert has been developed to help drivers decide if they should change their route or end their journey, and it will operate from today.

The system has been developed in response to the storms which hit the UK in January of this year, when 48 goods vehicles were blown over on the major routes operated by the Highways Agency.

The new system will apply to England's motorways and major A roads, it consists of an amber and red weather alert depending on the severity of weather reports received by the Met Office.

The alerts will target specific stretches of the motorway and trunk road network in areas and regions where there is an absolute certainty that a severe weather event will occur.

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The weather alert will be communicated to drivers of HGV and high sided vehicles through radio travel bulletins, the Highways Agency's traffic radio service available on DAB digital radio and the internet at http://www.trafficradio.org.uk and through the FTA and RHA membership network.

An amber weather alert will advise drivers to take care because it is highly likely that traffic conditions will be affected by the weather and they should monitor traffic and travel radio bulletins.

A red weather alert will only be issued in exceptional circumstances when the weather becomes so severe that journeys would be affected by incidents on the Highway Agency's road network.

During a red weather alert, drivers of goods vehicles will be asked to leave the network immediately and find a safe place to park.

Traffic Operations Director for the Highways Agency, Derek Turner said: “We are very aware how severe weather such as high winds or snow can affect driving conditions.

“The alert status is a further measure we are taking to improve the reliability of our roads for all users.”

Leaflets and handy credit card sized pocket cards are being distributed to drivers to raise awareness of the alert status and to explain how the system will work.

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