Department for Infrastructure advises road users to take care and has staff on standby to manage weather impacts

Date published: 16 October 2017

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has activated its emergency plan and Roads and Rivers teams are ready to respond to any impacts from today’s forecast severe weather.

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The Department will be continuing to monitor impacts on roads, rivers and tides throughout the day and will ensure the public are kept up to date.

Roads

DfI’s winter safety service is on standby and has 300 roads staff ready to deploy to manage any damage or obstruction to roads if necessary and safe to do so.

There are likely to be impacts on some bridges and roads resulting in closures. The Peace Bridge in Derry will close at 3.00 pm.  It is likely closures will be put in place for Foyle bridge, the Dark Hedges and the Strangford Ferry is likely to be suspended.  Information in relation to this will be published on www.trafficwatchni.com and variable messaging signs on roads will also be updated.  We would ask road users to adhere to road signage and any temporary arrangements put in place both today and during any repair work which may be required.

Rivers and Tides

Grilles and gullies are being checked across the region, however, given likely leaf fall due to high winds, surface water is likely.  Water levels and tides also continue to be monitored and while any impacts are likely to be within thresholds, overtopping waves in coastal areas are possible.  Sandbag stocks are available to deploy as necessary and DfI continues to be in contact with those likely to be most affected, particularly in South Eastern area. 

To report incidents of flooding please contact the flooding incident line on 0300 2000 100.

Services

The Driver & Vehicle Agency has closed all MOT test centres at 12.30 pm today.  Staff will be in contact with customers to re-arrange appointments.

Advice for road users

Every day on the road is dangerous, whatever the weather. Different weather conditions have their own dangers and demand different driving rules.

Road users should consider if the journey is absolutely essential then follow the advice in The Highway Code NI to adapt driving to the weather conditions.

High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds, or when passing bridges or gaps in the hedges.

In very windy weather your vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back when a motorcyclist is overtaking a high-sided vehicle.

If your journey is essential, reduce your speed, stay well behind the vehicle in front, remain focused and always wear your seatbelt.

Advice for road users in all adverse weather conditions can be found at: ​https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/driving-adverse-weather-conditions-leaflet

The department will continue to work with other emergency responders to manage any weather impacts.

More detailed information on keeping safe and useful contact numbers is available on the nidirect.gov.uk website at: ​https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/news/strong-winds-warning-power-and-travel-advice

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383.
  2. See photos from the Department for Infrastructure in our Flickr collection: www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/collections
  3. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra

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