British motorists have been urged to take great care when driving on seven of the country’s most dangerous routes this winter.
Motoring specialists LeaseCar.uk have compiled a list of perilous UK roads that car owners should be wary of now the cold weather is beginning to set in.
These twisty routes could incite fear into even the most experienced of drivers when the weather deteriorates, with their hazardous corners and sharp drops, so vehicles should take alternative routes where possible.
If drivers must take one of the following roads, caution is a must – that means trying to travel during daylight hours in a well prepared vehicle and maintaining a safe speed.
Tim Alcock of LeaseCar.uk said: “When we lease out our cars, we are very careful to advise customers on the perils of getting behind the wheel during winter months, and particularly, travelling on these infamously dangerous roads.
“No matter how long you have been driving, if the road is icy and you are driving along one of these routes, the risk of you crashing is unfortunately very high – that’s why we like to recommend other routes.
“But for some this is not a viable option, so little things like equipping your vehicle with winter tyres and ensuring satisfactory visibility will unquestionably improve your safety on dangerous routes during the harsh winter months.”
Cat and Fiddle Road
From Macclesfield in Cheshire to Buxton in Derbyshire, driving on this peak district stretch of the A537 has carried a persistently high risk of serious crashes over recent years.
Named in honour of the Cat and Fiddle Inn at its summit, which was the second highest pub in the country, this route is popular among bikers and perhaps the most dangerous road in Britain.
The Snake Pass, which has a poor accident record, was engineered by Thomas Telford, between the Ladybower Reservoir at Ashopton and Glossop in the Pennines, and first opened in 1a21.
It carries the A57 and was once the main signposted route between Manchester and Sheffield, but authorities have since thought better of directing traffic towards this treacherous trail, which is particularly vulnerable to snow and subsidence.
Described as a mountain pass, the Lake District’s highest road reaches an elevation of almost 1,500 feet to link Ambleside to Patterdale.
The Struggle is what the locals call the road used to get to this section of the A592, so it is easy to imagine how difficult tackling the Kirkstone Pass itself could be.
Rosedale Chimney Bank
With an average gradient of over 10% and a maximum of around 1 in 3, the Rosedale Chimney Bank is known as the Chain Breaker by cyclists but poses a steep challenge for even the strongest motor vehicle.
This highway takes minor traffic through the hills of the North Yorkshire Moors, between Rosedale Abbey and Hutton-le-Hole.
The local road between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley in the Cumbrian Lake District, the Hardknott Pass is one of the steepest roads in England (with views as far as the Isle of Man on clear days).
A road was first constructed in the area by the Roman army, the name is taken from the Old Norse words for hard, craggy hill and it is one of the most challenging routes in Britain due to a series of hairpin bends and the high risk of ice.
The Woodhead Pass, or A628, is another route between Manchester and South Yorkshire, through the Peak District National Park.
It is often exposed to high winds and other bad weather due to its altitude, but this does not discourage large amounts of heavy traffic using the road, increasing the potential danger on this route.
From Petworth in West Sussex to the A27 near Chichester, the A258 forms one of Britain’s worst roads for motorists, particularly when wintery conditions are thrown into the mix.
Long, fast straights, many sharp turns, dramatic changes in elevation to impede visibility and the odd residential area could combine to make this unpredictable road a disastrous route if drivers aren’t appropriately cautious.