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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 01:08 GMT
Roads prepared for winter weather
Gritter on road
Across the North West 15,000 tons of salt is available
Gritters and snowploughs are on standby as the prospect of a cold winter looms over the North West.

The Highways Agency said it was ready for the challenge of ice and snow on the region's roads and urged motorists to make sure they were also prepared.

Drivers are being urged to equip their vehicles with a "winter weather kit".

The Highways Agency said it had more than 15,000 tons of salt across the North West and 55 gritters on standby ready to take on the elements.

It said "at the first hint of snow and ice" a fleet of vehicles would be mobilised to pre-salt the region's motorway and trunk road network.

Across Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside the Highways Agency has 13 winter weather depots and 18 ice stations, which provide real time weather information backed up by pictures from CCTV cameras.

Items the organisation is advising drivers to keep in their cars include warm clothes and boots, food, a hot drink, de-icer, a torch and a spade.

It also advises people not to drive unless they have to if severe weather strikes.

Do you have any pictures of the UK wintry weather? If so, you can send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or MMS them to 07725 100 100

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