'Salt not gold' on our icy roads

JUNCTIONS OR COUNTY ROADS NOT GRITTED

MARGARET RODDY

Published 19/12/2012 | 18:39

LOUTH COUNTY Council has no plans to grit road junctions or county roads, councillors were told at their monthly meeting on Monday.

Only the national primary, secondary and regional routes are gritted and staff will not go off these roads, Senior Engineer Mr Gerry Kelly stated.

The recent cold weather had resulted in the gritters being out 37 times already this winter, compared with 45 times over the whole winter period last year and this was placing severe pressure on their budget even though the winter is not half way through.

He said that motorists need to take care on county roads until they get onto a regional or national road and when approaching junctions.

'People need to approach junctions with care,' said Mr Kelly. 'It would be physically impossible to do all the roads. We don't have the time.'

Cllr Imelda Munster also called for junctions to be gritted, saying that salt bins should be placed at junctions so that people could grit the roads themselves. 'Even with bins there's a cost,' remarked chairman Cllr Finnan McCoy.

'We're talking salt here, not gold,' said Cllr Munster.

Mr Kelly refuted suggestions that the council was negligent in not gritting all roads, saying they had identified the roads which needed to be gritted in accordance with best practice throughout Europe.

It was impractical to grit every junction and motorists must accept responsibility for their driving.

Cllr Munster disagreed saying it was best practice throughout Europe to salt roads and to supply salt bunkers at junctions.

County Manager Ms Joan Martin said it was 'simply not possible' to grit all the roads and it was not just a question of money but there was a time factor as well.

Cllr Frank Godfrey also highlighted the poor state of the DunleerCollon road at the weekend, where a number of cars left the surface.

Details of the routes which are gritted are available on the council's website.

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