North Yorkshire has increased its number of roadside weather stations on some of the county’s highest and most remote roads to alert drivers to treacherous conditions before they begin their journey.
We have now has 23 weather stations, some of which in more-remote locations are powered by solar and wind technology, that display up-to-date images on the County Council’s website.
The weather stations, which have been provided by Vaisala, a global technology leader in weather measurements, allow highways teams to track the conditions and quickly react to issues on some of the county’s most exposed routes.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “The introduction of more weather stations over recent months marks a huge step forward in our winter service delivery. Many of North Yorkshire’s roads pass over the high ground of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, resulting in dangerous driving conditions at times during the winter months.
“The stations broadcast up-to-date images to anybody who views our website. They allow you to see what road conditions are like before you even leave the house.”
One weather station sits at the side of the A684 near Leyburn, a major A road and key commuter route crossing the whole of the Yorkshire Dales. Another captures the well-used B1363 York to Helmsley road through Stillington, just three miles East of Easingwold.
One of the first new stations went up on the B6255 at Ribblehead, a vast area of moorland at the head of the River Ribble with the famous peaks of Ingleborough and Whernside in view. The camera provided valuable information during Storm Arwen when snow swept onto the route.
Cllr Mackenzie added: “The stations have already proved vital in informing our highways teams of current issues during the strong winds, rain and snow caused by Storm Arwen and Storm Barra.
“Our teams are on call 24 hours a day ready to respond to conditions that arise, along with over 100 farmer contractors. By having access to these images we can make quick decisions including whether to deploy some of our 80 gritters or clear debris. During bouts of extreme weather I would encourage all road users to look at the road conditions before heading out.”