WITH heavy snow forecast tomorrow (Friday January 18), the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia is urging motorists to take extra care on the roads over the next few days.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning predicting snow will hit the region between 3am and 9pm.

Anna Higgins, Safer Roads Partnership spokesman, said: "With the current forecast, there is the potential for some severe travel disruption and the public are advised to watch or listen to local news for updates and be prepared to alter their travel plans.”

She added: "In extreme weather conditions, such as thick snow, motorists should avoid any non-essential travel."

But she said if there is a need to travel drivers should ensure their vehicle is in good running order before heading out.

The partnership is reminding motorists that vehicle handling can change considerably in icy and snowy conditions, increasing stopping distance by up to ten times.

Motorists are urged to reduce speed, keep well back from the vehicle in front and allow plenty of time to slow down and if steering becomes unresponsive ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

Braking sharply on an icy or wet road will make the situation worse and could cause the brakes to lock and the car to skid.

Drivers are also encouraged to carry an emergency kit in their cars during the winter months in case of a breakdown or delay.

Items such as an ice-scraper, torch, warm clothes, a blanket, a pair of boots, a first aid kit, battery jump leads, a shovel for snow, food and drink and sunglasses to help see in low winter sun should be included.

Motorists are also advised to make sure their mobile phone is fully charged before heading off on a long journey.