COLOGNE/BONN. The snowfall and slippery roads caused chaos in Bonn and the region on Wednesday morning, causing traffic congestion on the roads and flights having to be cancelled at Cologne/Bonn Airport.
Icy rain, poor visibility, snow and sleet showers caused traffic chaos in the Rhineland on Wednesday morning. The onset of winter came as a complete surprise for many and caused numerous problems and disruptions in Bonn and the region, including Cologne/Bonn Airport.
A spokeswoman from Cologne/Bonn Airport said they had been advised that there would be some sleet overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday but they had not anticipated that this would be accompanied by freezing rain and thunderstorms. "That hit us unprepared," said the airport spokeswoman, and at first they didn’t have the necessary ground support vehicles on site to deal with the situation.
Due to the weather conditions, the runway was covered in ice; flights to Berlin and Hamburg had to be cancelled. The runway had to be completely cleared and sprayed, leading to considerable delays in air traffic. At around 9 a.m. the runway was reopened.
Public transport stand still
Bus traffic was also considerably impaired in the morning. Due to the sudden slippery conditions, bus lines 610, 611 and 630 from Heiderhof and Katzenloch could no longer continue on their routes. The buses in Ippendorf stood still from 8:16 am to 9:05 am, the lines 610 and 611 could only make it to the Stadthalle between 7:45 am to 8:30 am. All routes were passable again shortly after 9 am. As a result, there were delays, even on all inner-city lines.
Traffic obstructions and rear-end collisions in Bonn and the region
In the morning, there were up to 300 kilometers of traffic jams throughout North Rhine-Westphalia. Especially in Bonn with the A565, Kennedy Bridge, A562, A555, A59 and A61, considerable delays had to be expected.
Responding to an inquiry, autobahn police reported that there were "minor" rear-end collisions on the A565 and A59, presumably due to weather conditions. Bonn police also confirmed several weather-related accidents in the morning, some of which resulted in minor injuries. Due to the onset of sleet and partly slippery roads, police were called out ten times between 6 am and 10 am. The majority of the accidents were rear-end collisions.
Police warn about summer tires
A 48-year-old driver was slightly injured when a 31-year-old driver crashed into the man's car. The accident occurred at around 8 a.m. on Siegburger Straße in Beuel. According to police, the woman was driving with summer tires. Her TÜV certificate had also expired. The woman was not allowed to continue driving.
"This example shows how important winter tires are in winter conditions," the police said. Road safety is increased significantly through the use of winter tires. Anyone driving with summer tires in winter conditions has to expect a fine of 60 euros - in the event of an accident even 120 euros.
Orig. text: general-anzeiger-bonn.de