Wales

Fresh warnings for Welsh motorists as temperatures drop

Cerrigydrudion, county Conwy
Image caption Snow fell on high ground in parts of Conwy county

Forecasters are warning motorists to expect widespread icy roads across large parts of western Wales.

The Met Office has issued a flash warning for counties stretching from Carmarthenshire to Gwynedd.

Motorists are also being warned to expect sleet and snow showers into Thursday evening as temperatures drop to -2C.

Council officials in Carmarthenshire say the big freeze could reach -8C as its gritting teams turn out in force.

Forecasters say that snow showers are likely to spread to parts of north and west Wales during Friday, when temperatures will not rise above 5C.

The arctic chill has forced the Met Office to issue its flash warning, which is in effect from 1700 GMT Thursday through to 1100 GMT on Friday.

Preparing extensively

It warns of severe icy conditions for Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Anglesey.

The outlook for Saturday says the cold weather will continue into the weekend, with more snow showers possible in western areas.

However, local authorities and the Welsh Assembly Government insist that they are better placed to tackle wintry conditions this year.

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "The Welsh Assembly Government and councils have been preparing extensively for conditions such as these for the past 12 months.

"There is currently 130,000 tonnes of salt stored for the roads, with a further 38,000 ordered and due to be delivered shortly.

"This will be stored in barns across the country. A different approach to how salt is used will also mean that it is utilised more effectively and will last longer."

'Prepared'

In Carmarthenshire, council officials said their highways teams were ready to turn out around the clock.

"We have carried out a review of our winter maintenance plan this year and a number of actions have been taken as a result of this," said technical services director Richard Workman.

"Although we do not know exactly what the weather will bring yet, the last two winters have seen prolonged periods of ice and snow and it seems likely that we are looking at the same again this year."

The council said it had acted, as have other authorities across Wales, to increase stocks of gritting salt.

It said it had over 12,000 tonnes of salt stock, with a further 5,500 tonnes on order - more than triple the recommended contingency arrangements.

An accident involving two vehicles on an icy mountain road led to the closure of Blaenllechau Road in Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf, on Thursday evening.

The road has been closed in both directions following the accident around Commercial Street and Albert Street, known locally as the Llanwonno mountain road, which links Ferndale and Llanwonno.

The road is expected to remain closed until 1000 GMT on Friday, 26 November.

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