Six days of winter weather in Barry: Round-up
12:40pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
RESIDENTS of Dyffryn Place, Barry, welcomed a new neighbour on Friday (January 18)! Picture: Rowena Hughes.
HEAVY snowfall hit Barry and the surrounding area on Friday (January 18), sticking around over the weekend and lingering on into Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
As a blizzard swept across the area in the early hours of Friday, residents awoke to a blanket of thick snow, some inches deep in places.
Weather forecasters had warned about the treacherous conditions in the days before and advised people to only drive if absolutely necessary. The Vale Council worked throughout the nights gritting main roads, and snow ploughs were out in force on Friday.
Buses continued to run, some with altered routes as drivers stuck to main roads that had been gritted by the Vale Council.
Schools were also affected, with every school in Barry and district closed on Friday. The only exception to the closure was for sixth-form pupils sitting external examinations at the local secondary schools. Meanwhile the many local youngsters who found themselves with a day at home made the most of the wintry conditions by sledging and building snowmen.
Schools returned on Monday, with the exception of some years at St Richard Gwyn school, but Tuesday brought another day off for secondary pupils, with Barry’s senior schools again only open for pupils sitting exams.
Many primary schools were open on Tuesday, although others did not open. And for some it was an early finish as snow in late-morning meant pupils at a number of schools were sent home.
More snowfall on Tuesday night saw some schools closed again on Wednesday.
Vale leisure centres were closed on Friday, and weekend sport was hit, with all local football and rugby cancelled.
There were also delays to waste collections, as Friday’s conditions meant it was unsafe for staff to work on the pavements, but the council said on Tuesday that it had caught up with the backlog.
Barry market also suffered a rare cancellation on Tuesday, as traders – many of whom travel from outside the area – struggled to make it to the town.
CARDIFF and Vale University Health Board cancelled a number of outpatient appointments on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday (January 22-23).
The decision was made on advice from the Welsh Ambulance Service and South Wales Police, due to the likely weather and road conditions.
Appointments of patients relying on the Welsh Ambulance Service for transport were cancelled on Tuesday afternoon and patients contacted to reschedule.
Tuesday afternoon clinics remained open for those able to make their own way; however, the health board cancelled all outpatient appointments for Wednesday in light of the forecast.
Those with clinically important appointments were contacted by staff and arrangements made for them to be seen.
Paul Hollard, Deputy Chief Executive for the health board, said: "We will do our best to get appointments rescheduled as soon as possible."
TWO collisions in icy conditions saw Leckwith Road closed on Tuesday morning – causing gridlock through Dinas Powys and right back to Barry.
The closure was in place between Greenway Close, Llandough, and the roundabout at Hadfield Road, Cardiff.
Pen-y-Turnpike Road was also closed in the direction of Leckwith.
Traffic backed up through Dinas Powys and out past McDonalds on the Barry Docks Link Road, while in Penarth, Lavernock Road was also heavily congested.
The Vale Council’s winter service update on Tuesday morning aid: “Gritters were out on the Vale's roads throughout the night (Monday) and continued salting the main roads throughout the morning. But fresh snowfall meant salting operations were not as effective as the team would have liked.
“The team is working hard to keep roads clear.”
999 WARNINGS HEEDED
THE Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) thanked the public for following advice and only calling 999 when necessary.
The service was active throughout the poor conditions, with ambulance 4x4 vehicles operational in some areas.
Sue Jenkins, head of service delivery said: “Though very busy across Wales, the WAS has not seen the increase in volume of calls that we feared. We are grateful to the public who heeded our plea to only dial 999 for genuine emergencies.
“We are encouraging the public to continue to use our service wisely and only call 999 for life threatening and serious injuries and illness.
“We work closely with partners and agencies such as St John, Red Cross, Police and Fire Services, Mountain Rescue and the RAF to enable us to provide care safely and efficiently to patients at this time,” she added..
“There are a range of other health services that can be contacted for health advice and information including NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or at www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk”