A long-range weather forecast predicting months of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall could save fleets from experiencing costly downtime if they act now, says ATS Euromaster.
Meteorologist James Madden, of Exacta Weather, correctly predicted the harsh conditions experienced over the last two years and believes the coming winter will “break all records”.
He warns: “The UK is to brace itself for well below average temperatures and widespread heavy snowfall throughout winter 2011/2012, which will result in the fourth bad winter in succession for the UK, and will prove to be the worst of them all.
“I fully expect records to be broken, with the Highlands of Scotland being once again particularly hard hit. It is vital to start preparing now.”
Madden has made his forecast as ATS Euromaster is preparing for its second winter fitting cold weather tyres, which can completely transform a car or van’s handling when driving on snow, slush or ice – as well as on dry roads when the temperature drops below 7°C.
ATS Euromaster’s group sales director Peter Fairlie said: “The British attitude to weather is interesting. We moan about how bad the snow and ice has been, but as a country we almost refuse to prepare in advance.
“A long-range forecast like this should be treated as an early warning sign and acted upon – else fleets will only have themselves to blame.”
ATS Euromaster fitted tens of thousands of cold weather tyres last winter and readily admits it could have sold its stock “several times over”, after becoming the first national fast-fit specialist to launch a cold weather tyres offer for the fleet market in April 2010.
This year the company has ordered significantly more winter stock, but warns that the massive demand from mainland Europe – where fitment of cold weather tyres is a legal requirement in many countries – means UK supplies may still run short.