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Emergency Vehicle Snow Tires or Snow Socks, Not Rocket Science… It’s Simplez!

emergency vehicle snow-tires

In most the UK the streets are covered in snow and for the first time this year I find myself again wondering why emergency services vehicles don't have compulsory snow socks for their tires. It’s just passed midday and hearing about people trapped in cars for 12 hrs or more and facing the prospects pof another freeze night in vehicles tonight!

I just can’t help but wonder why there isn’t compulsory winter tyres for Northamptonshire emergency services, First response and fastest safest response must come into play and be anticipated especially with the expected batterng from storm Emma that's to come. 

What IS the COST of safe emergency services?

Your pictures of a snowy UK BBC

The argument that we've all heard for NOT investing in snow tyres is not cost effective. I can relate to that reasoning, after all it’s not every year that snow tyres are needed. But the cost of a set of good snow socks for all year round safety whatever the weather surely warrants the investment doesn't it?

Well, being quite frank you can use these great for emergency anti-slip, chain free of jack with 195mm-255mm Tire Width (Medium /Wide) for less than £60 a pair !

They're generic winter snow chains for car, SUV or light truck. you'd want at least a pair on the front or all 4 wheels

Or the popular Silknet Snow Socks - Awarded 'Which Best Buy' - Universal To Fit 215/55 R16 , 225/50 R17 and more multi-grip

My feeling is that a coupe of patrol cars and ambulances being able to get about town center in the winter snow is worth the price for shipping snow tyres.

 A quick look for some information on “Tyres for the emergency services in Northants

  • Steve Sutcliffe
    Q) Should winter tyres and some kind of skid control driver training become mandatory in the UK, so that not so many of us grind to a halt or, worse, end up crashing our nice shiny cars when it snows?
    Short answer; yes… full snow tyre report at
  • Lee Sibbald
    As forecasts predict snow by the weekend, memories of last winter’s weather chaos on the roads will have motorists fearing the worst. UK motorists can avoid being caught out by ensuring they prepare their vehicle for snowy conditions. After all, prevention is better than cure. Driving advice through wintery weather’ – Fleet
  • Chaos Predicted Again This Winter
    The study showed that despite heavy snowfall twice bringing Britain to a standstill earlier this year millions of motorists are still failing to heed warnings and prepare for driving in cold weather during dark winter months. Visit Continental’s

It don’t get it, still there is not a push to get the UK’s emergency services mobile throughout the winter months. Which local service will be the first? I bet it's probably a taxi service, one that doesn’t believe in letting it’s customers down... whatever the costs!

Snow wheels are something that I came across when I visited Sweden one winter. Coming from Northampton where buying ice tires is not on the agenda. I just could not understand how the cars and trucks were actually sticking to the roads that were inches deep in hard packed snow and ice.

It wasn’t long before I discovered the facts about ice tires that these cold weather drivers had. From 1st November snow tires need to be fitted as a legal requirement in Swede. It’s a good thing as there is absolutely no way that you could control your car (or truck) on the freezing roads without them.

All 4 wheels swapped Sweden in no time!

NB: I wrote this posts 7 years ago... "Before I flew back from Sweden I decided to change the wheels over on the car. Stacked in the corner of the garage for most of the year, it was finally time to fit the winter wheels and comply with Swedish law. 

The wheels were swapped over and fair weather wheels stacked within 30 mins. A garage of every emergency service provider should have at least a set for vehicles so that they don’t get compromised in the future".

Whilst local authority makes the decisions now about allocating funds for the future, I wonder when they will buy ice tires for a fleet of vehicles that need them. Can you persuade your local council to take driving in the snow seriously?

Remember the basic 5 P’s






There are 100′s of different types of snow tires solutions that are available to buy online, from special rubber compounds to ice tires with small metal studs that are embedded in the tires.  

You can buy ice tires from all of the major tire brands including Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear, Firestone, Dunlop and more.  

Many of the tire manufactures also sell what they call ‘all weather tires’ but don’t be fooled into thinking that these all weather tires will cope with driving in the snow and ice, they just can’t hack it.

Buying the right ice tires for driving in the harsh freezing weather  is the only way you can be sure that your driving safely in the snow and ice.

I recall the winter of 2009 in the UK , when a sudden icy cold snap lasted for weeks and literally brought the UK roads to a stand still. You can imagine the chaos as not even the not even the emergency vehicles had ice tires which I found really unbelievable!

Me I don’t relish the idea scanning the phone book or lugging tyres around town. When I want to buy tires I’d rather they came delivered straight to the door, or even better delivered to where I want hem fitted. 

To me getting snow socks is a smart move

In Sweden with the in'laws ... “I think it’s about the same price to buy tires online and get them delivered” I said, of course he didn’t believe me, I switched on the laptop, we went online and had a look,

In Sweden first week in November you have to have ice tires , once the temperature drops below a certain point (I don’t know how cold before it freezes on the roads) if you don’t get snow tires you just ain’t going anywhere, it’s that simple.

Back to the father in law – So we found the right type and size of ice tires online at a great price,  he got them delivered to the house, likes to fit them himself, even though the dealer stated on the website that they do deliver to the fitting bay. We got studded tires as the snow here gets pretty hard packed, my first winter here it was -24 degrees 

I can’t remember where, but I read somewhere  – “Ice tires can provide up to forty percent more traction in the snow and ice”

I was ‘and still am’ amazed at the difference 40% can make just no slip and slide at all. I remember driving along the A14 in that freeing cold snap that caught the UK Dec 2017, everybody was stuck and going nowhere.  

Lorries, cars, even some 4×4′s but not me  along I went tootling by in my Volvo 440 and you should have seen the looks I was getting, 🙂 they had no idea that I had kitted my little run around out in ice tires. I actually bought a winter tire & wheel package.

So yep buying ice tires is a real smart move if you ask me! 

When buying snow socks online be sure to make sure you put the right make and model of your car in the selection boxes as they do come in every size and shape. And  get the right range for the best fit of the vehicle.

I Moved to Northampton at the age of 4, grew up and studied Hospitality at Boothlane college. Went to London for 25years now back living in Northampton. Oh... and I love to shop! Don't be shy and have your say :o)