MOTORISTS are being urged to be prepared before setting out on journeys today after Highways England issued a severe weather alert for the North.

Gritting teams are working around the clock to treat roads and keep them free from disruption and an amber warning for snow is in place across the North West, Yorkshire and the North East.

Routes most likely to be affected include the M61, M65, M66, M6 north of junction 36, M62 between junctions 21 and 23, and the M60 between junctions 15 and 24 as well as the A69, A66 Old Spital and A628 Woodhead Pass

Snowfall of between 2cm and 10cm is predicted on higher routes, with up to 15cm over the Pennines.

Chris Chadwick, Emergency Planning Officer at Highways England, said: “Gritters are out treating our routes around the clock but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.

“If you need to travel in the morning, make sure you keep your distance and reduce your speed because, even in conditions that seem normal and the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh salt has not been worked into the carriageway.

“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if they really need to travel.”

Highways England is advising drivers to pay attention to messages on the overhead electronic signs and listen for radio updates.

Further information can be found by visiting or by following @highwaysnwest @highwaysneast or @highwaysyorks on Twitter.