Merseyside Police issue urgent warning to drivers after weather worsens MERSEYSIDE Police has tonight issued an urgent weather alert - warning drivers of yet more treacherous conditions overnight.
With freezing conditions expected, the force is advising motorists not to make unnecessary journeys in the morning - and if you have to travel use the trains as buses are unlikely to be available.
The freezing conditions follow on from the extreme weather conditions experienced in the region today and conditions on the roads tomorrow are expected to be treacherous for both motorists and pedestrians.
Despite the conditions on the roads Merseyside Police is continuing to respond to emergency calls and officers would like to remind members of the public to only use the 999 number for emergencies only.
Some members of the public were calling 999 earlier this evening to complain about youths having snowball fights - instead those residents should call the Merseyside Police switchboard on 0151 709 6010.
Chief Superintendent Tony Doherty is advising people to avoid making journeys by road tomorrow morning unless absolutely necessary and if motorists do have to take to the roads they should drive with extreme care and caution.
He said: "Driving conditions caused severe congestion in Liverpool city centre and drivers in other parts of Merseyside also faced problems as they made their way home this evening.
"Weather forecasters have predicted that temperatures are likely to fall below freezing overnight and this is highly likely to create even more treacherous and icy conditions on the roads.
"There is a lot of snow and black ice on a lot of our roads throughout the region.
"Quite often black ice is not visible and drivers can find it difficult to control their cars.
"Our message is clear - don't drive unless you really have to.
"And if you do take to the roads give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, be mindful of other cars on the road and be aware of the road conditions.
"Drivers should leave plenty of room between them and the car in front, drive slower than usual and use their gears to slow down where possible rather than their brakes, pay attention to the road traffic signs on the motorways and listen to local radio stations for regular traffic updates.
"Although local authorities will be gritting the main arterial routes overnight it is unlikely that the situation on the roads, particularly side streets, will improve over the next couple days.
"We would like to thank drivers for their continued patience and responsible driving during these extreme weather conditions."
TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE ON THE ROADS DURING ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS
Before starting your journey fully defrost and clear the car windscreen and windows - do not leave the car unattended whilst you do this and do not leave the keys in the ignition if you are physically scraping the windows of ice
Ensure the screen wash is topped up, isn't frozen and the windscreen wipers and tyres are in good condition Leave more time for your journey
Drive slowly and carefully to take account of the icy conditions, leaving a good distance between your car and any vehicles in front of you
It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road
To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
Be prepared - dress in warm clothing, put a shovel in the boot of the car, and if you are going on a long journey a Thermos flask with a hot drink in and some food will help if you find yourself stuck in traffic for any length of time.
Drivers who break down should always call their breakdown service provider in the first instance, unless they believe they or other drivers may be at risk of harm
Away from the roads, people are also asked to check on the welfare of friends, family and neighbours who may be more vulnerable during the cold weather, especially the elderly
Pedestrians must take extra care too, especially those taking their children out, walking their dogs, listening to music players or talking on their mobile telephones.
You should make sure you are highly visible to other road users and take extra care when crossing busy roads.
Cross at zebra crossings or traffic lights, do not cross between parked cars Wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips, when walking in dusk or darkness