Department urges caution during Storm Agnes

Date published: 27 September 2023


The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has urged road users to be extra careful when travelling this week as Storm Agnes is bringing high winds and heavy rain today and tomorrow.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind with a low likelihood of medium impacts affecting much of the UK and Ireland with the wind warning in place from noon on Wednesday 27 September until 7am Thursday 28 September. A yellow warning for rain has also been issued for Northern Ireland from 11am until 7pm on Wednesday 27 September.  

Ongoing industrial action by members of the Unite and GMB unions until midnight on Wednesday 27 September may disrupt the Department’s initial response to any potential storm clear up operation and other essential services which are routinely delivered by DfI staff on the road network. 

 This includes:

  • Response and clear-up operation when there are incidents on the road such as oil spills or unexpected debris
  • Response to calls to the flood incident line
  • Response to flood emergencies
  • Repair of serious defects such as manhole collapse or potholes
  • Gully clearing and cleansing.

While contingency arrangements are being put in place, this will not replace the full maintenance service and we would therefore ask all citizens and road users to be mindful of this and exercise care when making their journeys.

The high winds are also expected to disrupt sailings of the Strangford ferry. Travel updates will be issued via Ferry SMS and available at and @TrafficWatchNI

Flooding incidents should continue to be reported on the Flooding Incident hotline number 0300 2000 100.

Members of the public should continue to report defects or obstructions on the road network using NI Direct: Problems with roads and streets | nidirect .

Notes to editors: 

  1. Incident response: As a result of the on-going industrial action the Department may be slower to respond to incidents on the road network such as obstructions, oil spills etc. This will mean the road users may experience additional delays and disruption.
  2. Defect repair: As a result of on-going industrial action the Department may be slower to make safe or repair some defects such as potholes that occur on the road network. Road users should therefore take extra care when making their journeys.
  3. To Note: The DBFO network, which includes most Motorways, the A1 and the A4, is not affected by industrial action.
  4. The industrial action is in relation to particular issues around the remuneration of this group of DfI staff. 
  5. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  7. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra on Facebook  @DepartmentforInfrastructure and on LinkedIn at DfILinkedIn


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