UK heatwave: National Highways advises motorists to be 'well-prepared' ahead of extreme heat weather
National Highways is advising motorists and their passengers to be well-prepared for any journeys being planned this weekend and early next week – including taking drinking water.
The Met Office has issued a warning for ‘extreme heat’ for most of England from Sunday to Tuesday. National Highways is keen for everyone travelling on its roads during the heatwave to take extra precautions to keep safe and well.
National Highways has advice pages on its website around travelling in the summer, and will continue to provide social media and traffic updates during the coming days.
Drivers considering travelling over the coming days 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, where it is safe to do so, during journeys.
Among its tips for driving in the summer, National Highways says during particularly hot weather, make sure your engine stays within the normal operating temperature range. However, if it begins to overheat, find somewhere safe to stop and allow it to cool down.
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.
Mel Clarke, customer service director for operations at National Highways, said: “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.”
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 here.
To keep informed about driving conditions during journeys, motorists are advised to follow messages on overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by checking the National Highways website for traffic updates, National Highways’ regional Twitter feeds or calling the National Highways Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
National Highways is advising drivers to plan their journeys in advance and carry out basic checks to make sure vehicles are roadworthy. Things to consider are:
- Tyres: 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.
- Engine oil: Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
- Water: 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.
- Lights: 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.
- Fuel: 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.
Watch traffic officer Dave Harford demonstrate how to carry out vehicle checks here.
For more information about driving in hot weather, visit this page about travelling in summer on the National Highways website.