AS a fresh blanket of snow covered Lisburn on Monday afternoon, questions were being asked as to why there was such traffic chaos around the city centre leaving many motorists fuming.

Many were left helpless spending up to two to three hours on a car journey that would have normally have taken just ten minutes.

Vehicles were being abandoned across the city as roads were impassable and several reports of crashed vehicles, with some reports of collisions at Hill Street making the traffic problems even worse.

There was a virtual gridlock around the city from 3pm, many blaming the Department of Regional Development for not gritting the roads early enough and being caught off-guard.

Many pointed out that while roads in the area were clear on Friday and Saturday, with gritting lorries visibly seen when snow had been forecast days previous but on Monday there seemed to be a problem.

Motorway traffic was also a problem with treacherous conditions reported and councillors said that they received many phone calls from residents in the Pond Park area who were encountering huge problems. Many motorists around the Annahilt and Hannahstown were also experiencing difficulties.

The weather also caused power cuts reported for some hours around many homes across the city.

But it was not all bad news for everyone, with scores of schools closed on Tuesday, and some still closed on Wednesday families especially children were determined to make the most of the snow allowing more time for many to play.

More on the snow chaos on pages 6 and 7.