When you take a break
On long journeys, consider taking a break at regular intervals – and that’s an ideal time to check the traffic conditions on the road ahead.
While you are safely parked, check the latest information via your mobile phone, iPhone or laptop. Never stop on the hard shoulder to do this and never use your mobile phone while driving.
Follow us on Twitter
Our Twitter channel @NIDBFO2 will help you prepare for your winer journey with timely reminders and traffic updates. There are also regional feeds for live traffic information. For futher details on this service and a full index visit our Twitter page.
Amey Roads NI Ltd keeps Northern Ireland moving by maintaining M1 and A4 from Sprucefield to Ballygawley and A1 to the Border. Our colleagues in local authorities look after all the other roads, and we work as hard as we can to keep our networks clear during severe weather.
Stick to the main roads where you can and avoid exposed routes.
You should drive with care and respect the road conditions wherever you drive, but not every road can be treated. You need to take even more care driving on minor roads.
Even if the time and location of snowfall is perfectly forecast, it will still take us time to clear the snow after it has fallen and to treat the road with salt to reduce the risk of ice. It’s not just the salt treatment that helps cut through snow and ice; it’s the steady flow of traffic too.
Remember though, snow ploughs can’t get through if the road or motorway is full of stationary traffic, so give our vehicles and crew the space they need to do their job and help you on your journey.
Take weather conditions into account when planning your route by visiting The Met Office website or listening to local radio broadcasts.
We have a network of weather stations, road surface temperature monitors and other technology – and we work closely with colleagues at the Met Office to determine conditions – but the weather can still spring surprises.
Is your journey necessary?
During periods of severe weather always allow extra time for your journey. Listen to warnings or advice and consider whether or not your journey is essential.
If severe weather is forecast are you able to change your weather plans? Can you plan your journey to travel before the worst of the weather? Or wait until it has passed? Or at least allow time after the snowfall for our crews to start clearing and treating the roads? Can you work at home, for example? It all helps.
Christmas and Holiday Travel
If you’re going on holiday or visiting friends and relatives over the festive season, chances are it will involve a longer and less familiar journey than your regular commute – that makes planning even more important.
Did you know that our traffic cameras can help you see if it’s snowing on route and your destination?
Allow plenty of time, prepare for your journey, check for updates before you set off and you’ll arrive still full of seasonal goodwill.