Norway: column driving through a snow storm

Last updated 19:00 GMT.

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CHANNEL DELAYS: Fine today but bad weather starting overnight.

Condor Ferries UK-Channel Islands fast ferry delayed until 16:00 Monday.

DFDS Newcastle-Amsterdam: King Seaways Ams-New cancelled today after fire. Princess Seaways New-Ams on schedule. Read DFDS statement on fire. King Seaways resumes tomorrow.

WEATHER ALERTS: small areas Amber alert for flooding n.w France, avalanche Slovenia, fog Montenegro.

WEATHER: Showers in the East but largely fair in the West.

ROADS: Recent heavy snow in the Alps. Some local roads still closed south Switzerland. Avalanche warnings. Earlier snow across the Massif Central high ground in south central France. Snow central and south Austria above 900m.

TRAFFIC: Calais/Dunkirk>Ostend/Brussels A18 now clear. South Paris inbound a bit busy A6 and A10. Southbound D1091 into Briancon from Grenoble now 5mins delay. Stuttgart A8 inbound, accident delay now down to 45mins from Ludwigsburg.

See Christmas Congestion or Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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COLUMN DRIVING IN NORWAY.

How to drive through a snow storm.

Hot tip: keep the air conditioning on.

column norway

Norwegian drivers can’t afford to let snow storms get in the way so they fall into columns and follow a snow plough through the worst of the weather.

There’s a well-established protocol for Kolonne – columns – or Kolonnekjoring – convoys. Drivers assemble at road closed signs and wait for the snow plough to turn up.

The number of cars in the column depends on the conditions so drivers must wait for a place, in exceptional circumstances for up to a day.

That means always having stuff like plenty of fuel, torch, tow rope and shovel, food and drinks and warm clothing in the car.

snow plough

Winter tyres are not a requirement in Norway but the Roads Administration says, ‘Summer tyres should not be used in winter conditions. The tyres must secure sufficient road grip.’ During the winter tyres must have at least 3mm of tread (normally 1.6mm).

Common roads for convoys in the south include Haukelifjell, Hardangervidda (Hardanger Plateau) and Hemsedal. In the north, especially along the E6 road at Saltfjellet, Sennalandet and Kvaenangsfjellet, and on the country road between Bekkjarfjord and Hopseidet.

Drivers in a column should turn on hazard and fog lights and stay in the car if the column stops – and are advised to use the air conditioning to cool the passenger compartment and prevent the windscreen icing.

Find information on which roads are closed and which have convoy at vegvesen.no, read about driving columns or see the video below (Norwegian only).

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