DRIVERS are being urged to take extra care today with poor visibility and fog patches expected across Gloucestershire.
It seemed spring was on its way this week as the county enjoyed two days of sunshine and warm weather with temperatures reaching 17C on Monday and Tuesday.
But today, this seemed a distant memory first thing as a blanket of fog descended.
The Met Office has also issued a yellow weather warning for fog in the South West today and for tomorrow.
Traffic chaos hit the roads in the morning, prompting police warnings for drivers to use their fog lights and watch their speed.
Natasha Taylor from John’s Private Hire in Gloucester, said it caused problems on the roads.
“Many of our drivers noticed a lot of traffic because of the foggy weather,” she said.
“A lot of airport jobs were delayed because some flights were late.”
Police officers were called to at least five weather related crashes with particular problems on the A417 and A419 between Cirencester and Birdlip.
Visibility was down to approximately 20ft including in low lying areas under street lights.
Driving conditions were also bad on the motorways as people took to the roads for their morning commute.
Today the Met Office is warning that visibility is likely to fall below 100 metres at times.
It could not come at a worse time as many people prepare to make their way to Cheltenham for the greatest show on turf the Gold Cup tomorrow.
The Highways Agency is advising drivers to allow extra travelling time for their journeys.
Spokesman for the AA Tony Rich also issued advice for drivers.
He said: “We’re also seeing quite a few cars in Gloucestershire covered in grime. Remember to clean your lights regularly, so you can see and be seen.
“For many people, driving in fog, especially when it’s dark, is second only to snow and ice as their top driving fear.
“The classic mistake is driving too fast and too close, you need to be able to stop in the distance you can see clearly ahead. Keep your speed down and maintain a bigger gap at least three seconds between you and the vehicle in front.
“Remember that according to the Highway Code, you must use headlights whenever visibility is seriously reduced. Familiarise yourself with your fog light switches and use them responsibly. Switch them off, front and rear when there’s a consistent improvement in visibility.”