WEATHER: Snow causes havoc on north coast

Coleraine under snow on Wednesday morning. Photo by Yvonne Boyle.
Coleraine under snow on Wednesday morning. Photo by Yvonne Boyle.

Motorists been urged to take extra care with treacherous snow and icy conditions in the borough this morning.

Forecasters have warned more snow is expected after The Met Office issued an amber “be prepared” alert across central and southern Scotland today, with Wales, Northern Ireland and much of England also on alert.

Gritters were out in force last night and commuters have been told to expect some delays and cancellations of services.

Darron Burness from the AA’s severe weather team said: “It’s a case of ‘expect the unexpected’ and drive accordingly.

“Untreated roads could be slippery, so keep your distance and watch your speed, as things can go wrong very quickly on snow and ice.

“If conditions are bad, even short journeys can take significantly longer, so allow extra time, as some delays are to be expected. Also make sure your car’s windows and lights are clear of snow and frost before heading off.”

The Met Office said yesterday: “There is a risk of two spells of persistent snow. The first of these is likely to cross the amber area on Tuesday evening, with another one affecting the area on Wednesday morning - both of which could produce disruptive snowfall during busy travel periods.

“Meanwhile, snow is likely to continue to accumulate throughout this period on high ground.

“The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption and difficult driving conditions.”

Police are warning motorist across Northern Ireland to drive with care in the current wintery conditions:

• Slow down and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you

• Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock, ease off the brakes

• Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists and always clear all ice and snow off the car windows before setting out

• Drive slowly on snow in the highest gear possible.

• Never overtake snowploughs or gritting lorries. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind

• Do not assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Police would also advise for anyone unlucky enough to get stuck in snow:

• Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.

• Use a light touch on the accelerator to ease your car out.

• Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.

• Pour sand, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels – or even your foot mats - to help get traction.

• If you must leave your car, arrange to have it recovered as soon as possible. If you think it is in a place that may pose a danger to other road users, call the police to let them know.

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