Wet winter weather increases icy road risk
13 November 2012
Hampshire road users are being reminded to take extra care this winter as the saturated ground means that water runoff from fields makes it more likely that rural roads will ice over during cold weather.
According to the Met Office, this summer has officially been the wettest in one hundred years and there appears to be no let up in rain as winter approaches. The Environment Agency has recently released a warning that, following further wet weather in September and October, rivers are full and the ground is saturated, with the result that current groundwater levels in some areas are extremely high and water is seeping onto Hampshire's roads. Roads that would normally dry quickly after precipitation are more likely to remain wet and ice over when the road surface temperature drops below zero.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Hampshire County Council said:
"Road users need to take extra care this winter because, due to the saturated ground, even a small amount of rain or snow means that roads are more likely to experience water running on to them which can easily ice over when the temperature freezes. We have recently experienced our first frosts of the winter and our salting teams have been out treating Hampshire's main routes but, although temperatures may rise slightly in the days to come, drivers still need to take care as some roads may be covered with deep puddles.
"Hampshire County Council takes road safety extremely seriously and invests heavily to maintain and improve the 5,000 plus miles of road in the county. Keeping Hampshire Moving is a priority of the Council - the road network is a vital support for our regional economy and people need to be safe when going about their day-to-day business, whatever the weather. We have a long-term strategic programme of road maintenance and enhancement, Operation Resilience, which aims to make our roads more resilient to the damaging effects of weather extremes and increasing traffic levels, as well as to improve the overall condition of the roads."