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Saturday 17 February 2018

Only way from A to B is icy

Another day of chaos for commuters as services cancelled

Paul Melia

COMMUTERS were forced to deal with another day of chaos as the big freeze continued and public transport services were cancelled.

But a private bus company forced to cancel services between two Meath villages and the capital yesterday made a valiant attempt to open up the public road to traffic.

Matthews Coach Hire, which serves Bettystown and Laytown in Co Meath, was forced to cancel all its services because of icy roads which left 2,000 passengers without a service.

But despite using a gritter in an attempt to de-ice a nine kilometre stretch of road, the company was forced to give up. It managed to treat just two kilometres.

"We're attempting to grit the roads," managing director Paddy Matthews said. "We run 27 services a day from Bettystown and Laytown to Dublin, carrying up to 2,000 people but the roads are like a skating rink.

"We came up here this morning with a gritter and salt to try and get around it but it's too dangerous. We ran out of grit very quickly. We thought by diluting it down with sand might stretch it a bit further but it didn't. We had planned to do an eight- or nine-kilometre stretch but only got about two kilometres done."

Hazardous

Dublin Bus was forced to run restricted services for much of the day because of the hazardous conditions. The main restrictions were in suburban, residential and industrial estates because of freezing roads.

Due to the deteriorating conditions and in the interest of safety, all bus service in the capital stopped running at 8pm last night leaving thousands of commuters forced to find alternative ways home. Bus Eireann also operated a restricted service, but as conditions deteriorated over the day it decided to only operate routes using the main roads and the Dublin Port Tunnel.

It experienced disruption and delays to local services in Dublin, Louth, Wicklow, Wexford, Meath and Westmeath.

However Iarnrod Eireann operated a full service, albeit with some minor delays. Services to the Docklands station in Dublin were suspended.

The company said there was very heavy demand for services because of bus restrictions, but they had marshals in place to ensure passengers boarded trains safely.

Dublin Port remained open as did Dublin Airport, again with some delays.

Irish Independent

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