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Wexford 'cold snap ready' as gritting trucks hit the roads ‘with military precision’

Wexford's winter plan is monitored in real time when snowy, icy weather is forecasted

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Gritters have been used on the busier roads of Co Wexford this week.

Gritters have been used on the busier roads of Co Wexford this week.

Some of Wexford County Council's gritting trucks.

Some of Wexford County Council's gritting trucks.

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Gritters have been used on the busier roads of Co Wexford this week.

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With temperatures set to continue to hover at around zero degrees over the coming nights and days, Wexford County Council staff have been hitting the roads, using salt and grit to prevent them fro icing over.

Council trucks gritted the county’s main motor arteries (national, regional and busy town and village roads) on Wednesday afternoon and from 3.30 a.m. on Thursday and will continue to do so so long as the cold weather persists, according to Wexford County Council director of services for roads, Eamonn Hore.

The Winter Service Plan for 2021 and 2022 comes into effect each year in early October with an engineer assigned to it round the clock over the colder months.

"It rotates between three engineers. It’s monitored in real time,” said Mr Hore.

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Several weather stations within the county provide forecast updates and as soon as icy or snowy weather is predicted gritting commences.

"We grit to avoid the ice in the first place. If it rains it means we have to go out again. Normally one run will do, but sometimes it requires three call outs. Last year we did three gritting runs in one day during very poor weather,” said Mr Hore.

A fleet of five trucks is at the ready, with one standby truck also.

"It’s a very regimented thing. We always err on the side of caution when there is going to be ice or snow. We give the drivers a specific time to go out and allocate a number of runs. It’s with military precision."

Wexford County Council has a massive stockpile of grit in its Enniscorthy yard as this is the first cold snap of the year.

Under the Winter Services Plan, Kilkenny County Council has agreed to salt a short section of the R704 in County Wexford, from its junction with the R723 in New Ross to the Kilkenny County bounds.

Wexford County Council has no reciprocal arrangements with Kilkenny County Council.

The average number of call-outs in a year is 44. The highest number was 92 in 2010/2011 and the lowest number was 20 in 2006/2007).


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