Council under fire over gritting


Roscommon County Council has defended the decision not to grit roads in the county last Thursday morning (15th) in spite of treacherous driving conditions which led to a number of road traffic accidents locally.

  In a statement issued last Thursday, Head of Roads, Eugene Dwyer, said the decision was taken on foot of the forecast supplied by Met Éireann through the Icecast System, which is monitored from October to April.

  “Temperatures were forecast to drop close to zero degrees this morning (15th February) but not below zero. Wintery (sic) showers were also forecast. Based on the forecast it was decided not to grit.

  “I received calls from two of the General Services Supervisors in the North of County Roscommon shortly after 7.30 am saying roads had become icy. All supervisors were contacted and dispatched gritters in Boyle, Ballaghaderreen, Strokestown and Castlerea. To complete the gritting routes takes up to three hours. Salt gritters were not sent out in Athlone or Roscommon as reports from staff confirmed that the roads were not icy in the south of the county.’

  Mr. Dwyer went on to say that the salt lowers the freezing point of water and showers of rain, sleet and snow reduce its effectiveness. He added that it is recommended drivers not assume that roads are ice-free.