School closures and gridlock as winter returns with a bang

Dozens of local schools have been closed, with reports of impassable roads and traffic gridlocked as winter returned with a bang overnight.

Heavy snowfall and temperatures hovering around freezing has meant that despite repeat gritting overnight even main routes are treacherous this morning.

A man walking his dog along the Steelstown Road this morning.

A man walking his dog along the Steelstown Road this morning.

There was gridlock during the morning rush hour at the Foyle Bridge and surrounding areas after slippery conditions resulted in some vehicles sliding backwards and blocking the dual carriageway.

Some motorists have reported being stuck on the birdge for an hour.

Rural parts of Inishowen and County Derry were also deemed treacherous this morning, while in Derry City there were reports that roads around Carnhill, Steelstown and the Waterside were particularly slippery.

Dozens of schools meanwhile have closed across the region.

These have included Drumachose Primary School, Limavady; Limavady High School; St Canice’s Primary School, Feeny; Ashlea Primary and Nursery School, Tullyally; Oakgrove Integrated College; Roe Valley Integrated Primary, Limavady; Foyle College; Drumahoe Primary School; Cumber Claudy Primary School, Claudy; Lisneal College; Mullabuoy Primary School and Pre-School Centre, Lettershandoney; Drumrane Primary School, Dungiven; St Mary’s Primary School, Altinure, Claudy; Newbuildings Primary School;

Listress Primary School; Fountain Primary School; Glendermott Primary School; Rossmar Special School, Limavady; Limavady Central Primary; St Mary’s Gortnaghey Primary School, Dungiven; St Brigid’s Primary School, Tirkane; Eglinton Primary School; Eglinton Community Nursery; St Peter’s and St Paul’s Primary School, Foreglen; Londonderry Model Primary School; Faughanvale Primary School.

In Tyrone closures include Evish Primary School, Strabane; Killen Primary School, Castlederg; Donemana Primary School; Artigarvan Primary School and Community Nursery, Strabane; St Patricks Primary School, Dunamanagh; Edwards Primary School, Castlederg; Bready Jubilee Primary, Bready; St Catherine’s Primary School, Strabane; St Joseph’s Glenmornan Primary School, Strabane; St Mary’s Primary and Nursery School, Strabane; Loughash Primary School, Dunamanagh; Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh, Strabane; Strabane Academy, Strabane and St.Caireall’s Primary School, Castlederg.

A spokesperson for Traffic NI meanwhile has warned: “Icy conditions are expected on all roads this morning with snow showers affecting many routes, particularly in the north and west.

“All main routes were salted last night and salting is underway again this morning on most of these routes.

“All main routes are now passable with care. Motorists are advised to allow additional journey times and exercise caution on all routes.”