Statement by Cllr Timothy Gaston, TUV Bannside:
“During this severe spell of ice and snow, I encourage all people who need to leave their homes for whatever reason to take every care on the roads and footpaths. I am thankful for all the workers out during the late evenings and during the night to grit the roads, and for all those who voluntarily grit their own estates.
“It is however a real shame that DfI Roads hands are tied behind their backs due to the strict criteria on the provision of grit boxes and what roads they are permitted to grit. Stormont has yet again got it so wrong on this issue.
“Civil servants now have an opportunity to untie DfI Roads hands and adjust the criteria. Grit boxes should be provided where local residents have a need for one – they are inexpensive and local people will use them. Gritting the roads needs to be done on a case-by-case basis even if they fall below the 1500 vehicles per day criteria – such as Gracehill Primary School area and Garvaghy Road in Portglenone do.
“Common-sense is required – let’s make a change that is needed.”
Note to Editor
Letter sent from Jim Allister MLA to DfI Permanent Secretary:
Department of Infrastructure
12th December 2017
Dear Permanent Secretary
RE: Criteria for provision of grit boxes and gritting of roads
I am writing following the receipt of many complaints from constituents regarding the provision of grit boxes and gritting of roads.
During this spell of snow and ice driving conditions can be treacherous. Many people would be happy to provide a public service to their neighbours by gritting their own area if only they could be provided with grit boxes and grit. But they are frustrated by the narrow criteria by which grit box provision is assessed on.
Similarly, the criteria which roads are assessed on to be included on the gritting schedule requires more flexibility. The criteria which states a road needs 1500 vehicles a day to qualify does not serve all areas equally – for example in my constituency the roads around Gracehill Primary School are ungritted but the concentration of traffic at drop off and collection is significant.
I would encourage you to take this opportunity to review the criteria for each.
I look forward to a positive response.
Jim Allister MLA