Travelling in Adverse Conditions; A locum guide
Wintry weather conditions
Autumn is upon us and Winter will be here before long…. It’s time to start thinking about being prepared for bad weather.
As a locum, you are relied upon to get to your booking on time and in one piece, but when the winter starts to throw its worst at you, this can sometimes be difficult.
For the most part, UK weather warnings shouldn’t cause you any significant concern as most potential travel disruptions can be largely prevented with some advanced preparation.
We’ve gathered some simple, helpful tips over the years to help you get to work safely and on time like always.
COVID-19: There are a couple of extra considerations to make due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’ve made note of these below.
Top tips for preparing to travel in winter weather
Plan your journey WELL in advance:
- Spend extra time making sure you’re familiar with the routes you will need to take. Avoid routes that use less travelled A-roads or country lanes as these may not be gritted. Motorways or well-travelled roads are more likely to be.
- Spend a couple more minutes considering an alternative route in case you need to use it.
- LEAVE EARLY AND FACTOR IN LOTS OF EXTRA CONTINGENCY TIME. That way, any extra traffic or unavoidable delays will not prevent you from arriving on time.
- Use AA or other recognised sites to stay aware of any traffic warnings along your route.
- Use the MetOffice site to keep an eye on weather warnings.
Consider where you park overnight:
- Do you live on/near a hill/incline or on a road on which a lot of people park and leave little room for manoeuvring? It might be a good idea for you to consider parking up near a flat, main road that is likely to be gritted. This will allow you to leave more easily in the morning.
Find out where your nearest gritting bin is:
- Check your local councils website for details on the locations of gritting bins in your area. Ensure you are aware of your closest bin and grit the area where you are parked and outside your home.
Make sure all your devices are charged and up to date:
- Phones and navigation devices should be fully charged the night before. Also make sure apps and SatNavs have the latest updates.
Using public transport:
- Apart from the parking advice, the rest of the guidance above also applies to anyone using public transport. Plan your journey in advance and consider all routes available to you. We would also suggest that you try and choose the earlier trains/buses etc in addition to taking your transport links earlier than usual. Aim to arrive at store well in advance than normal and that way, delays shouldn’t cause you too much issue.
- COVID-19: It’s quite possible that usual routes and timetables will be disrupted due to restrictions imposed in national or regional lockdowns. Please make sure that you take these into account when considering the use of public transport.
Keep us in the loop
- In extreme weather (which usually equals chaos on the roads) we understand that lateness can sometimes be unavoidable. If this does occur, please ring us to let us know. We can inform the customer that you are on your way and will get there when you can, or maybe even re-divert you to a different booking.
- The AA have provided excellent advice on driving in wintry conditions: https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/seasonal/winter
- The AA also have a great winter travel checklist: https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/seasonal/winter-checklist
- Michelin also have a really useful ‘Prepare for Winter’ article with good advice: https://info.viamichelin.com/practical-tips/prepare-winter
- For peace of mind, make sure your breakdown cover is in place and suitable for what you need: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/car-insurance/breakdown-cover
- Social Media is a great source of information during the winter. Use Twitter to follow the Highways England account for your region to keep up to date with important motorway news. Also check Facebook for accounts your local council might run. A lot of councils operate a Facebook account dedicated to their roads management.
- Finally, tune into your local radio station. They should provide traffic updates that will alert you to any active issues on your local roadways.