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Snow showers cover Heathrow Airport in West London. Many UK airports are shut, and bus services in Ireland have been affected by poor weather. Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Transport chaos looms as cold weather returns

Sub-zero temperatures return and public transport is hit – while local authorities admit that salt supplies are running low.

Updated, 12.47

CHRISTMAS COMMUTERS can expect transport headaches this week after the winter weather returned with a bang last night, as snowfall and sub-zero temperatures left many roads back in their impassable states.

RTÉ reports that areas in the Northwest, West and Midlands were worst hit by the overnight weather, where snow was frozen by icy temperatures leaving many primary routes in slippery conditions.

The latest cold snap – which is expected to at least last until Christmas – comes as local authorities admit their supplies of salt and grit are dwindling, with stores already depleted following the first bout of cold weather earlier this month.

The Irish Times yesterday reported that there will be no new salt supplies in the State until at next Wednesday, according to the National Roads Authority, and overnight conditions will put further strain on the sparse resources.

Met Éireann warns that the cold snap will continue over the weekend and well into next week, with icy conditions around the clock. There will be some snow showers later today, but they will be more sporadic than yesterday’s.

Bus Éireann services are affected by the weather, with all routes in Kerry cancelled, while services in Co Clare are subject to heavy delays.

Even routes along main intercity routes – such as the Galway routes to Limerick and Dublin are subject to delays. The Route between Cork and Limerick is totally closed. Some bus commuter routes in the north-east are also out of service.

Irish Rail is running a full service though there are some delays travelling through Limerick Junction. Services in Dublin, including the Luas and Dublin Bus, are fully operational.

Airports in the Republic are open, though City of Derry is shut. Air passengers should check with their airlines, however, whether their planes are flying – as many airports in the UK, including the main airports in London, have cancelled some services.

Up-to-date weather and transport information can be found on the following websites:

Twitter users can get weather news through’s curated ‘Big Freeze’ list.