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Inspector Chris Morgan, Gwent Police
"We are asking people not to travel unless it is urgent"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 20:17 GMT
Heavy snowfall hits Wales
Snow-covered car
Drivers warned to beware during evening rush hour
Persistent snowfall has caused widespread disruption in south Wales on Tuesday.

Cardiff International Airport was forced to close for an hour and schools in south east Wales shut early, while colleges scrapped evening classes.

Six schools in Torfaen, south east Wales, sent pupils home early and parents were advised to check if the schools will open on Wednesday.

In the north of the division at Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr, it is very bad with roads closing

Inspector Chris Morgan, Gwent Police
Workers were also been sent home from the Ebbw Vale steelworks and conditions on the roads in the area have been described as dangerous.

The south Wales Valleys and the former county of Gwent faced some of the worst weather on the first day of spring.

Inspector Chris Morgan of Gwent Police urged motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

"The situation is getting worse as we speak. In the north of the division at Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr, it is very bad with roads closing.

Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons are covered by snow
"What we do not want is a situation with vehicles breaking down on the roads making the gritters work more difficult."

Further north in Dyfed Powys, police warned that icy road conditions could cause problems for drivers travelling on Tuesday night.

Midweek sports fixtures were also hit, with the FAW Premier Cup quarter-final between Cardiff City and Merthyr Tydfil called off.

The blizzards have also hit many other parts of England and Northern Ireland.

Motorists on the M4 have been warned to take extra care in the evening rush hour.

While temperatures hover around 3C, they will feel much colder due to the bitter winds.

Wintry weather

Wind chill was sending temperatures in Brighton and Cardiff plummeting to -9C and -10C on Tuesday morning.

The wintry weather is not expected to ease for at least 24 hours, possibly 48, forecasters have warned.

Rough seas caused Irish Ferries to cancel its Swift catamaran services between Holyhead and Dublin.

It planned to continue a normal service on its conventional ferries.

There have been no reports of deteriorating weather conditions causing problems on trains services.

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See also:

03 Mar 01 | Scotland
Borders snow misery continues
28 Feb 01 | Scotland
Minister defends road chaos response
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