Pile-up was due to rapid onset of blzzard: Colr.

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A pile-up involving over ten cars in Creggan last week was caused by the unusually rapid onset of a blizzard, according to Sinn Féin councillor, Kevin Campbell.

Colr. Campbell said believed Transport NI was caught unawares by the sudden deterioration of the weather on January 15.

He told Derry City and Strabane District Council’s monthly Environment and Regeneration Committee meeting that a series of fender benders on Southway during snow flurries was due to the road not being gritted.

Traffic chaos followed when a Met Office warning was upgraded from yellow to amber at 3 o’clock on the afternoon in question. The upgrade had been unexpected, said Colr. Campbell.

“Three arterial routes into Creggan were affected, particularly Southway, where there was a pile-up of ten or eleven vehicles,” he said.

Praising TransportNI staff who, alongside Triax volunteers, helped drivers affected, said the roads authority needed to look at its gritting protocols.

SDLP Colr. Martin Reilly said the Waterside was also badly affected. He said the Department for Infrastructure needed to look at adding Chapel Road to its gritting network as parents and pupils were having difficulty getting in and out of the school during inclement weather.

Director of Environment and Regeneration, Karen Phillips said the council wrote to DfI in December to address gritting issues and was awaiting a response.