Snow causes travel chaos in south Armagh
The wintry snow storm which swept across most of Northern Ireland overnight on Thursday caused travel chaos on Friday morning with significant disruption on roads throughout south Armagh – in particular the main Newry to Crossmaglen Road which saw bus services cancelled due to the treacherous surface conditions.
Road users on Friday morning had expressed their concerns to The Examiner that the main route remained icy and questioned if Transport NI had gritted the road in anticipation of the drop in temperatures and overnight snowfall. The travel nightmare was compounded by the cancellation of bus services and school buses along the B30 route.
A Bus Inspector for Translink confirmed that early morning buses and school buses along the Newry to Crossmaglen route had been cancelled due to the dangerous road conditions. The Translink official said the decision had been taken to temporarily cancel the services after Translink drivers on the road in the early morning had reported conditions as unsafe for travelling. He advised that services along the main route were up and running again by 10am when conditions improved and there was no further snowfall forecast for the day ahead.
Responding to The Examiner’s query on the gritting schedule for the busy main road between Crossmaglen and Newry on Thursday night into Friday morning, a Department for Infrastructure spokesperson confirmed that Salting of the scheduled network in Southern Division had in fact begun on Thursday at 4pm and continued until 8am on Friday morning.
“During this period gritting was completed on the salted network 4 times, this included the B30 from Newry to Crossmaglen,” added the spokesperson.
“Weather conditions were very difficult throughout the period and some localised heavy showers in the south Armagh area led to wash off of salt which may have allowed ice patches to form on the road network in places.”