To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are his procedures for relaying ice warnings to local authorities.
Local authorities obtain forecasts of road weather conditions from their local meteorological weather centre. The Meteorological Office has introduced an "open road" service for local authorities which incorporates ice prediction and thermal mapping techniques which the Department has been promoting. This service is tailored to suit the need of individual authorities and includes a 24-hour forecast, a two-to-five day forecast, weather charts of key trends, ice prediction, a 24-hour consultancy, and regular updates. The Department shares the cost of the service with local authorities acting as its motorway-trunk road agents.The Department encourages local authorities to install their own ice prediction systems and to have their roads thermally mapped. It has issued advice notices on these and will pay a share of the costs to cover motorways and other trunk roads. The Department has also drawn up a specification for a national ice prediction network. Ice prediction systems serve as a source of extra information to aid local meteorological offices in making more accurae forecasts of road conditions.