Roads blocked by drifting snow as ‘Beast from the East’ continues to bite

Fairview Road near Moira on Friday morning. Thanks to Moira Presbyterian Church.
Fairview Road near Moira on Friday morning. Thanks to Moira Presbyterian Church.

Drifting snow, driven by freezing winds, has blocked many minor roads around Lisburn and surrounding areas this morning.

Schools are shut (see full details here), many businesses and other organisations are closed and traffic and travel has been severely disrupted.

Some of the worst areas affected include Moira, Hillsborough, Ballinderry, Aghalee and Carryduff.

“Many minor roads around Lisburn totally blocked this morning with drifts 4-5ft high. Main roads treacherous and driving conditions hazardous. Take extra care if you must travel,” Lagan Valley MLA Robbie Butler tweeted.

Urging drivers to consider if their journey is essential, the PSNI’s Road Policing Unit tweeted: “Police would ask that motorists slow down, use adequate lights, keep a safe distance and be careful if driving in these weather conditions.

“We would also urge that you check on neighbours and those around you during this period. #KeepingPeopleSafe”

Old Road, Ballinderry on Friday morning. Pic by Margaret Irvine

Old Road, Ballinderry on Friday morning. Pic by Margaret Irvine

A spokesperson for PSNI Lisburn added: “Do not travel unless you need to. If you have to travel, clear all snow and ice off your car first, make sure lights and wipers are working, and SLOW DOWN!”

A number of council services have also been hit by the wintry weather, with many scheduled bin collections having to be postponed.

The local authority posted on Facebook: “If due to the adverse weather we have missed your landfill bin collection please be advised that we will collect one black bag per household at the next collection.

“The next collection will be a catch up collection next week. You will not have to wait another two weeks for your landfill bin to be emptied.

The snowy scene at Old Road, Ballinderry on Friday morning. Pic by Margaret Irvine

The snowy scene at Old Road, Ballinderry on Friday morning. Pic by Margaret Irvine

“We are unable to collect extra bags for dry recyclables as black bags cannot be recycled.”

The South Eastern Health Trust has said its services are “still operating as normal”, but stressed patient safety is its priority.

“Services still operating as normal but if you do not feel you can travel safely to your appointment please contact the number as stated on your appointment letter. Your safety is our priority,” the Trust tweeted.

According to the Met Office, an ‘amber warning’ for snow and ice is in place this morning, with a ‘yellow warning’ for further wintry weather expected to be in place until tomorrow, March 3.

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