News Storm Emma

Monday 21 May 2018

Abandoned cars are hampering efforts to keep main routes open

Transport Minister Shane Ross urged people not to take unnecessary journeys. Photo: Colin Keegan
Transport Minister Shane Ross urged people not to take unnecessary journeys. Photo: Colin Keegan
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Abandoned cars at motorway interchanges and junctions are hampering efforts to keep main routes open.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland warned it will be some days before local and regional roads are fully operational after Storm Emma dumped an unprecedented amount of snow across the country.

Widespread heavy snow and ice across the country means that driving conditions remain treacherous in many parts, with some roads impassable and others only passable with extreme difficulty.

While the main routes are open, there are issues on the N11, N25 and N24 due to poor conditions.

A spokesman for Transport Infrastructure Ireland said the number of cars spinning out and being abandoned was causing issues, and he asked people not to travel unless absolutely necessary. He also revealed a cyclist had to be removed from the country's busiest motorway, the M50, between junctions for Tallaght and Ballymount.

"The major motorways are operational, with at least one lane open," he said.

"We've had a lot of problems with cars spinning out and people abandoning their cars which is not helpful. It's not helpful that people are travelling unnecessarily, and there's a particular issue on interchanges off the M50 which are on inclines.

"Ploughs then can't go through there, and we have to get equipment out there to move them."

He said there was around 100,000 tonnes of salt available to treat roads, with regional supply sheds adequately stocked. But it would be some time before the roads are fully reopened.

"We're going to have another 24 hours of trying to get on top of this. We're still having white-outs, which is leading to problems. The big challenge is going to be the local and regional roads. Local authorities have a big job to do."

While most councils were gritting yesterday, some were forced to suspend operations on safety grounds. Transport Minister Shane Ross urged people not to take unnecessary journeys.

"Road conditions are extremely treacherous and while local authorities are doing extraordinary work clearing snow and salting surfaces, obviously they will concentrate on major arteries," he said.

"Please do not use the roads unless you absolutely have to."

Keep safe and warm, but if you are out in Storm Emma we'd love to see your photos and videos. Send by email to contact@independent.ie or Whatsapp to 0871847169

Irish Independent

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