Belfast Telegraph

Atrocious weather leads to long delays at Glenshane Pass

The Glenshane Pass bore the brunt of the atrocious weather, forcing travellers to and from Londonderry to endure a journey at a snail's pace at best.

Valentine's Day had a calm start, but as the hours passed the weather steadily deteriorated and the first flurry of snow began after lunchtime.

The Met Office had issued a 'yellow' warning for heavy rain and snow across Derry, but as the temperatures hovered just above freezing point in the city itself, the snow failed to make much of an impact and disappeared after a short period.

However, it was a very different story on high ground.

On the Glenshane Pass passengers who boarded the 212 Translink bus from Belfast to Derry at lunchtime didn't arrive at their destination for a staggering four hours.

Among them was a student at the University of Ulster, who was making his way home for the weekend.

He said: "The bus left Belfast at the right time and for the first part of the journey it was really straightforward. As the bus came off the roundabout at the end of the motorway the picture outside was very different.

"It was climbing up the Glenshane Pass so slowly. It would normally take no more than 10 minutes to get from one side of the Glenshane to the other, but we must have taken a good hour or more."

By the time daylight ended the conditions had deteriorated even further and a collision involving a lorry on Glenshane made a bad situation even worse for motorists, resulting in the police advising people to avoid the area completely.

Eithne Ryan, who was also stuck for a time on the Glenshane Pass going towards Belfast, said: "We were crawling along very slowly in a line of traffic and there is a fair bit of snow."

The Met Office issued the weather warning in good time for Roads Service to grit the roads across the north west.

A spokeswoman for Roads Service said: "Roads Service has 86 staff and 40 gritters on standby every night to ensure that the 2,113 kilometres, or around 1,320 miles of main roads, are treated in the Northern Division of Roads Service, which covers the council areas of Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Larne, Limavady, Londonderry and Moyle."

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