Donegal councillor's proposal could mean safer travel with more roads added to gritter programme

The suggestion means that roads could be gritted at a lower cost

Siobhan McNamara

Reporter:

Siobhan McNamara

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siobhan.mcnamara@iconicnews.ie

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Suggestion for gritter programme could make more roads safe

A Donegal councillor has proposed a lower cost alternative to grit lorries that would allow more roads to be made safe in the winter months.

Cllr Noel Jordan (SF) was speaking particularly about the Ardaghey to Ardara road. But he said there were other roads in the county that could benefit, for example the Glengesh road and the Old Laghey Road. 

The councillor put down the following motion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Municipal District (MD)  of Donegal: “I am asking this Municipal District to add the Ardaghey to Ardara road to our annual gritting programme.”

In responding to the motion, Donegal County Council said that a workshop would be taking place on March 16 where further discussions would take place on how any additional routes could be resourced.

Cllr Jordan told Tuesday’s meeting that at a previous workshop in February, it was outlined that there would be great difficulty in allocating new roads for financial reasons. He was told that it would cost €200,000 to add and staff another gritting lorry.

“The reason I am raising this now is that I feel it can be done a different way,” said the councillor. He suggested using the council’s small lorries with tailgate gritters. 

Stressing the importance of adding the Ardaghey to Ardara road to the gritting programme, he said: “It is the main artery off our national road heading from Ardaghey to Ardara. There is traffic to Gallagher’s Bakery; a huge amount of people work there. There is an increase in residential terms too. 

“We have an obligation to get the people to work and we have an obligation to keep people safe on a treacherous road.”
Cllr Jordan said that people paid their road tax and were therefore entitled to get from A to B safely. He added that the Ardara to Ardaghey was particularly treacherous during the annual cold snap.

“I know it is going to be impossible to do every road,” he said. “I am not asking for that. But this is where we have the volume of traffic and activity.”

The motion was seconded by Cllr Niamh Kennedy (Ind) who said she knew of a lot of people who travelled from Ardara to work in Donegal Town. 

“It is quite a bad road in bad weather and it gets a lot of frost,” she said.