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Road caution urged as ‘big freeze’ due

by SEAN-PAUL DORAN

TRANSPORT Minister Danny Kennedy is urging motorists to take extra care on the road after adverse weather conditions were forecast for the weekend.

The Met Office has warned that heavy snow and rain will hit Northern Ireland over the next few days, with temperatures plummeting below freezing point.

And Mr Kennedy, MLA for Newry and Armagh, hopes drivers will take every effort to ensure they remain safe.

“I would urge motorists to take care on the roads. The best advice is in the Highway Code – drive with care even if roads have been salted, be prepared for road conditions changing over short distances and take care when overtaking gritters,” he said.

“We are now half-way through the winter period and would expect further icy conditions and snow before the end of March.  

“During spells of prolonged snow, all gritters will be fitted with snow ploughs and efforts directed to clearing snow from motorways and the trunk roads, before moving to other main roads and the busiest urban link roads.

“The operation will continue until all roads are cleared, but this may take some time, even with all resources deployed. In very deep snow, Roads Service will use its nine snow blowers, the latest of which can shift 1,600 tonnes of snow an hour.”

To view the full weather forecast for the weekend, visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.

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