The clocks went back this weekend, so we probably all spent a blissful extra hour in bed on Sunday. We don’t want to put a downer on things, but it’s worth remembering that when the clocks go back it means only one thing: winter is coming. Expect cold winds, heavy rain, snow and of course travelling to and from work in the dark. We’ve put together some tips on how to get around safe and sound in Southend-on-Sea.
1. Be seen
As the nights draw in, visibility is vital. If you’re cycling to work it’s important that you can see the road, but it’s just as important that others on the road can see you. Make sure you have one light shining on the road and another facing you. That way, other vehicles can see you clearly. The same principle applies to walking by the roads in winter – carry a torch and wear something bright.
2. Be sensible
Basic safety is just that, basic. But few of us know as much about it as we perhaps should. As the temperatures dip and daylight hours shorten, take an extra few minutes to make sure you’re ticking these boxes. Phone fully charged? Told someone your destination and when you’ll arrive? Got a bottle of water? Got a backpack to stop you having to carry things in your arms? You’re set to go!
3. Be covered
It must have been some sturdy Brit that said: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Make sure that you’re wrapped up against the chill. Woolly jumpers, hats and gloves, finished by a big coat, can help stave off those winter sniffles. Try layering to regulate body temperature, so you won’t overheat in those warmer buses and trains. Don’t wear two pairs of socks though; that can give you blisters. Appropriate footwear is a must, which means you really should throw away that pair of trainers with no grip and the hole in the bottom. And believe it or not, you might want to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes against the winter glare.
4. Be less hasty
Most accidents in winter happen when people are in a rush. Slow down. If you’re walking or cycling, take time to watch for and avoid icy surfaces. Wait for cars to slow down completely at road crossings as conditions may make it harder for them to stop. Step carefully onto the bus or train and hold onto handrails or grips to avoid slipping. You might need to build in a little more time for your journey, but it’s worth it to stay safe.
5. Be informed
Adverse weather conditions can make travelling more tricky than normal, whether you walk, cycle, drive, get the bus, or catch a train. To avoid a nightmare journey, check weather forecasts and travel updates. Planning ahead can make journeys a lot easier and minimise disruption. For Southend trains and buses, head to Transport Direct. Allow extra time for your journey if the weather is bad. If the weather is truly awful, consider whether you can wait until it improves before venturing out.
So remember to be seen, be sensible, be covered, be less hasty and be informed to travel smart and safe in Southend-on-Sea this winter.
For loads of other hints and tips for staying safe through the winter visit the Southend-on-Sea Council website.