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Winter Weather Travel Tips

Birmingham City Council and Amey asks motorists and businesses to take a few simple steps which will help them 'be prepared' for the onset of winter

Make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter:

  • Check the battery,
  • Put antifreeze in the car,
  • Keep windscreens clean,
  • Make sure window wipers work correctly,
  • Make sure lights are working correctly and your number plate is clean,
  • Check tyres for condition, pressure and depth. At least 3mm is recommended for winter motoring.

Preparing to travel:

  • Start your journey earlier and plan your route,
  • Clear all windows of snow and ice,
  • Consider carrying:
  • Mobile phone and fully charged battery,
  • Bottled water,
  • Snacks,
  • First aid kit,
  • Torch and batteries,
  • Useful telephone numbers,
  • Blankets and warm clothing,
  • Jump leads,
  • Snow shovel,
  • Old sack or rug to put under the wheels if you get stuck.


Driving in ice and snow takes much longer. Advice on how to drive can be found on any of the motoring organisations websites.

Other Considerations:

  • In times of bad weather consider whether trips are essential before you head out,
  • Consider whether you can walk / use public transport / car pool / share vehicles with others,
  • Keep petrol levels up in case you get stuck unexpectedly in traffic,
  • Avoid travelling at peak times if you can,
  • Where possible stagger journey times,
  • Restrict your speed,
  • Stick to larger roads but be aware you need to drive carefully even where gritting has occurred.

Gritting Facts and Figures:

  • 1200 km of carriageway is routinely treated by Birmingham City Council/Amey
  • This network is divided into 23 gritting routes
  • A new fleet of gritting vehicles carry out this function.
  • Salt spreading rates are adjusted to suit weather conditions.
  • Each gritter carries 7 tonnes of rock salt
  • Most gritters are fitted with snow ploughs.
  • It takes between 3 and 4 hours to treat the entire priority network
  • Ice is most likely to form at dawn.

Birmingham Newsroom
Information about disruptions to services and school closures due to the weather