If you are planning on driving off on a skiing holiday, make sure heed the advice of Daily Mail skiing expert Neil English and don’t make the same mistake he did regarding his tyres.
Not having winter tyres fitted before he left the UK turned his routine road trip to Switzerland into a ‘nightmare, according to his article in the newspaper today.
English wrote: “I should have bought new winter tyres for my 4×4 last September but I put it off, gambling that I could probably still make my trip to the Alps on summer tyres. I planned to find somebody to fit the new ones in Switzerland just before I tackled the most difficult part of the journey – up the mountain road to the resort of Villars-sur-Ollon.
“After researching online, I discovered I could get the tyres at a great price from a garage outside Lausanne. I just had to make sure I reached the garage before it closed at 5.30pm.
“I like to cross the Channel from Dover by ferry, meaning I roll on to the motorway at Calais at about 9am. That gives me nine hours to reach Alpine resorts without breaking the strict speed limits on toll roads. However, it poured with rain all the way through France, meaning my progress was slow.
“I suffered another setback when my usual route over the Jura mountain pass – which climbs to 3,280ft and provides a short cut from Besancon in France down towards Lausanne in Switzerland – was closed to all vehicles without chains due to heavy snow.
“The diversion via Geneva added a further 90 minutes to my journey – and by now, snow was falling heavily. I made it to Lausanne at about 6pm, and was relieved to find the garage was still open and willing to switch my tyres. Phew!
“There’s no way I would have made it up the mountain without them. I saw countless vehicles stranded or pulled over at the side of the road, with people battling to attach chains to their tyres in a violent snowstorm.
“The moral of the story is either have chains and be prepared to put them on and take them off when the conditions change, or invest in snow tyres as early as you can.”
To read the full article go to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2086955/Ski-holidays-Dont-gamble-safety-drive-slopes.html#ixzz1jdfHpnUr
Denna Bowman, Head Office