Hazardous conditions continue


Continuing freezing conditions across the country have made driving and walking hazardous today.

Deep snowfall in many areas overnight and snowfall continued today.

Main roads are mainly slushy but secondary roads in many areas are extremely slippery and hazardous due to a combination of black ice, fresh and compacted snow. Motorists are again advised not to undertake any unnecessary journeys.

Met Éireann said it would be very cold again today with some further falls of rain, sleet and snow over southern parts, and in parts of the north and northwest this evening.

Sleet and snow added to hardship in rural and upland areas today, with up to 10cm of snow falling on high ground.

Dublin Bus suspended services from 9pm last night, while Bus Éireann services in some areas were also reduced. A Bus Éireann spokesman said problems arose because roads were so cold that snow was freezing as it hit the ground.

Both companies have said they intend to continue to operate as full a service as possible tonight. Intending passengers advised to visit  www.dublinbus.ie or www.buseireann.ie for updates.

Iarnród Éireann said the majority of its services are running today but delays are expected.

Dublin airport is open, as are Cork and Shannon, but passengers were advised to check with their carrier for latest details. Some delays are being experienced at Knock airport. The severe weather has also led to transport problems in Ulster, with Belfast International Airport closed until 7pm last night and cancellations and delays on a number of routes in and out of Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport.

The Luas red line is operating a full service in both directions, with the exception of the Connolly Stop which remains closed. The green line is running as normal.

Ferries services to and from the island of Ireland are all operating as normal.

Dublin City Council said heavy volumes of snow were sliding off roofs. It warned people, particularly smokers standing outside pubs, restaurants and other buildings, to avoid standing or walking under roofs. Pedestrians should not walk with hands in their pockets and should not make mobile phone calls while walking.

It said it appreciated the efforts made by people clearing snow from driveways and outside their homes and businesses.

The HSE said people falling on ice had led to a 50 per cent increase in numbers turning up at emergency departments.

National Emergency Co-ordination Centre chairman Sean Hogan appealed for people to link in with the vulnerable and elderly in their community.

“It’s 11 or 12 days since this started and some people have not have been out or seen people,” he said. “Please call and check and offer whatever practical assistance they need or just visit and talk with people.”

The Defence Forces revealed more 1,500 soldiers and 450 vehicles have been deployed to assist the Civil Authorities in recent weeks.

The National Roads Authority revealed it has already used 30,000 tonnes of salt on roads in recent weeks, which is the usual amount for a mild winter.

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey said yesterday he expected difficult travel conditions to persist until at least Thursday morning. He said  an extra €15 million has been set aside for local authorities. However, many local authorities have said they are running low on salt for spreading on roads.

Some side roads have been effectively closed to traffic for almost a week.

Eircom said today there are nearly 5,000 reported faults on its network today. It said about 1,600 of the 2,200 faults reported yesterday have been cleared.

Some 750 technicians are working around the country to restore services. The worst affected areas are Dublin, Wicklow, Carlow, Wexford, Laois and Meath.