Travel conditions in northern and western of Northern Ireland have been made harsh thanks to ice and snow. Local reports show that heavy snow has been falling in Draperstown, Tobermore and Maghera. As a result, Roads Service was using snow ploughs as a way to clear the roads. It was also laying down grit on the main roads to give cars better traction. Despite this, minor roads are not receiving the same kind of treatment. Side roads remain icy and very dangerous to travel on.
According to Translink, a public transport group, said that the road between Warrenpoint and Rostrevor collapsed. As a result of this road collapse, the company was unable to run Ulsterbus Service 39 on its normal route. Instead, this service was rerouted through Mayobridge and Hilltown. Police have already asked drivers who normally use this road to choose an alternative route. The police say that the best bet is to use Rostrevor Road as an alternative route for now.
Reports have also said that major roads like the A6 have also become dangerous. Drivers who are using the A6 between Derry and Dungiven are asked to be careful. It is suggested that this road has become dangerous due to compacted snow and ice. With temperatures expected to remain low, any snow that melts is going to refreeze over the night, making things even more dangerous in the morning.
Due to the amount of ice and snow that has been falling, a number of schools in Tyrone and Londonderry have been closed. These schools will remain closed until the icy weather comes to a stop. It is likely that some of these schools will remain closed until Friday or Monday of next week.
A member of Roads Service, Aidan O’Callaghan, said that things have gotten worse over the night. In places like Belfast, there is no sign of snow at all. However, as people head just a little bit further north, the country is being hammered by it. There has been a significant amount of snowfall, and it has caused a lot of travel problems. The Roads Service staff and manpower have been doing everything that it can to keep the roads clear. This involves ploughing the roads and putting down salt. Despite this, a number of schools and businesses have had to close down for the next few days.
Right now, Roads Service is working in areas that it is referring to as isolated pockets. These are areas of road where the snow has become so compacted that there is no chance of it melting soon. The agency is hoping that it can clear these pockets and get people back on the roads again. However, it asks that people stay off the roads if at all possible until it is safe to do so. More updates on road conditions will become available after Roads Service has had more time to address heavily affected areas.