SNOW: M7 motorway down to one lane in places

Offaly Express Reporter

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Offaly Express Reporter

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The M7 motorway near Portlaoise is down to one lane due to the treacherous weather conditions.

Conditions are also difficult on the M6 through Offaly and Westmeath and into parts of Kildare.

The Gardai are advising people living in areas where an Orange level weather warning has been issued to exercise extreme caution when travelling and avoid unnecessary journeys.

A Status Orange Snow and Ice Warning is now in place for counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Tipperary.

Check the LATEST WEATHER FORECAST here

Drivers should be aware it takes longer to stop a vehicle on an icy road so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Motorists should clear the windows and mirrors of your vehicles before you set off on your journey and carry a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.

Ensure you remove all snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey as snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreen during braking, causing severe restriction to your vision. It can also fall off during your drive and cause injury to pedestrians or a reflex action by another driver.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, Roads Policing, said: "Please be aware that visibility is reduced in snowy conditions so drive slowly if you need to make a journey. Allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Motorcyclists/Cyclists should not comprise their safety by their 'need' to travel in icy/snowy conditions. Be safe."

He also asked people listen to follow local media/social media for updates on the status of the weather warnings and/or advice issued by the emergency services.