Heavy snow causes travel disruption

Published Monday, 21 January 2013
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Motorists are being advised to allow extra time for their journey after heavy snowfall caused severe travel disruption in parts of Northern Ireland, including the M1, on Monday night.

Heavy snow causes travel disruption
Hightow Road in Newtownabbey is covered in snow (© Pacemaker)

The Met Office has extended its yellow alert for snow until 6am on Tuesday, with icy conditions also likely to affect many roads throughout the morning.

Heavy snow resulted in very difficult driving conditions on Monday evening, with delays of up to two hours reported, particularly in Co Down and Co Antrim.

The Roads Service said salting and ploughing operations were underway from early afternoon "on a continual basis in the affected areas".

"The operations were affected by the intensity of the snow, the volume of very slow moving traffic, and in places by a number of broken down or abandoned vehicles," a spokesman explained.

Areas particularly affected included Belfast, the Greater Lisburn area, the Templepatrick hills, Comber, Saintfield, Ballygowan, Hillsborough, Carryduff, the Castlereagh hills, Dundonald, Holywood, Moira, Ballynahinch, Dromore, Dromara, Banbridge, Rathfriland and Castlewellan.

The Church Road in Holywood and the B27 Moyad Road over Spelga remained closed on Monday night. The Shane's Hill Road between Larne and Ballymena was closed due to snow and stranded vehicles, police said.

Earlier two breakdowns on the M1 westbound at Stockmans Lane reduced the motorway to just two lanes.

Motorists leaving Belfast queued from Broadway, and the delays affected Stockmans Lane towards the M1 and Balmoral Avenue heading towards Stockmans Lane.

Later police closed the M1 westbound at Stockmans Lane and Blacks Road because of a stranded lorry. It has since reopened.

"Salting and ploughing operations will continue as necessary overnight with the aim of having the network clear for morning traffic," the Roads Service said.

"Motorists are advised to exercise caution when travelling overnight and in the morning, particularly when driving on untreated roads."

Belfast International Airport remained "open and operational" on Monday.

"However adverse weather across the UK could affect some flights", a spokesperson said.

A small number of flights were cancelled to and from Belfast City Airport on Monday morning. The airport also put any delays down to a knock-on effect from the disrupted schedule.

All passengers are advised to contact their individual airline for the latest flight information.

A number of schools were closed on Monday, particularly in the North Eastern Education and Library Board area.

McKinney Primary School in Dundrod, Co Antrim will be closed on Tuesday.

© UTV News
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18 Comments
Paul Newry in Newry wrote (636 days ago):
5 hrs last night from dunmurry to mayobridge complete disaster, via Lisburn and rds in Newry white with snow no grit at all
heather in newtownabbey wrote (636 days ago):
i suppose the flag protest is to blame for this too !!!!!!!!!!!
Glastry College in Glastry, Ballyhalbert wrote (636 days ago):
Students of Glastry College are advised to attempt to reach the college for class as usual, If this is not possible then please contact the school (details on college website). GCSE AA Science exam for Year 12 is at 9:3AM and college will be open for this exam however for sudden closures of the school, a group message will be sent to parents of all students and information on closures will also be available on the college website... glastrycollege.org.uk/
Student in Ballywalter / Ballyhalbert wrote (636 days ago):
Sudden snow caused the closure of Glastry College midday on Monday 21st. Luckily the previous rain has made it difficult for snow to stay, can only hope the school remains accessible for year 12 final Science GCSE exam on Tuesday in the early morning.
Steve in Canada wrote (636 days ago):
You just have to accept this is the way it's going to be in the UK as it only snows a few days (if even) a year. Councils can't justifiably spend money on effective snow plough and de-icing setups for such infrequent events. Count yourselves lucky, we have heavy snow in Edmonton from Nov - April and the temperature varies between -10 and -40!
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