Major transport disruption from Thursday as networks set to shut

Snow brings delays, cancellations and treacherous conditions across the State

Blizzard-like conditions have hit parts of Leinster and Munster and heavy snow and strong easterly winds are expected to continue throughout the week.

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Many key transport networks across the country will be shut down for large parts of Thursday and in some cases into Friday due to continuing blizzard-like conditions.

No rail services, including Luas, will operate from 2pm on Thursday until at least noon on Friday, Irish Rail has advised. “We will update arrangements after 12.00 Friday as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement.

There are numerous Irish Rail service cancellations on Wednesday evening.

Dublin Bus has advised that the company will not operate any services on Thursday, following advice from Met Éireann and the National Emergency Co-ordination Committee.

Bus Éireann has responded to the weather with many cancellations and is likely to respond with more on foot of advice from the Department of Education & Skills that “Munster and Leinster - all schools, third level institutions, colleges and centres of further education in [status red national warning-affected] areas will be closed tomorrow and Friday”.

“In relation to Connacht and Ulster decisions on school closures will be made individually depending on the circumstances in their area. The situation in Connacht and Ulster will be kept under review.”

Status Red

The Status Red snow-ice warning is in place for Counties Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath until Thursday at midday.

On foot of this, AA Roadwatch is advising motorists located in Status Red warning areas not to travel unless necessary. “If you do have to travel, allow extra time for your journey and for your car to defrost before setting off.

“Don’t forget that stopping distances are ten times longer when driving on snow and ice. Slow down.

“Clear snow off your vehicle and use dipped headlights at all times.”

The motorist lobby group said Stannaway Road and Bunting Road in Crumlin were treacherous due to ice on Wednesday afternoon. “Gardaí advise avoiding these routes if possible. Routes across the city are also in poor condition, with the Tallaght area especially bad.”

It said: “Routes around Wicklow are extremely dangerous due to heavy snow. In Arklow, Kilcarra Road (R747) from Arklow to Kilcarra is impassable due to very icy conditions. The Old Military Road (R115) is closed until further notice from the View Point to the Sally Gap.”

It added that there is snow on all roads across Meath, including the N2 which is still impassable between Collon and Slane after a truck jackknifed earlier this morning. Gardaí advised avoiding the route where possible. Elsewhere, the Trim/Longwood Road (R160) is blocked near Brannockstown Cross due to a jackknifed truck. Take an alternative route. Gardaí are at the scene. Further north, in Louth, roads are slippery due to snow.

“Gardaí in Dundalk say the N33 is almost impassable between the motorway and Ardee. Avoid this route.

“There are very poor conditions on the M9 in Kildare. Conditions remain poor along this stretch and Gardaí say it should be avoided. Gardaí advise that the flyover over the N4 at J5 Leixlip is impassable.

“In Tipperary, road conditions are especially poor around Nenagh. Secondary routes are in poor condition countywide but main routes are passable.”

Status Orange

A Status Orange snow-ice warning for Counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford is also in place until midday on Thursday.

Ryanair announced around noon on Wednesday that all flights to/from Dublin Airport “have been cancelled for the remainder of the day, 28th Feb 2018. All affected customers will be notified of their options by email / SMS text message.”

Aer Lingus said severe winter weather conditions were causing disruption to its schedule on Wednesday and a number of flights have been cancelled as a result, “with the possibility of further cancellations and delays”.

“Guests are asked to please check the status of their flight before departing for the airport.

“Guests who were booked to travel on today’s cancelled flights are being notified by SMS message and may rebook to the next available flight, free of charge, using our online facilities.

“Guests who have bookings to travel on Aer Lingus flights from Wednesday 28th February to Friday 2nd March and who wish to postpone their travel to a later date, within 7 days of their original travel date, may also rebook free-of-charge using our online facilities.

“We will update guests via this website, SMS messaging and our social media channels of any new developments.”

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