Councillor wants grit supplied to people to clear local roads

A Dublin councillor wants people to be allowed to grit local and estate roads.

Fine Gael councillor Neale Richmond today called on the Government to allow people to spread grit on roads in their own areas.

He said the council should provide stockpiles of grit and salt to estates and on non-national roads where there are dangerous corners or gradients for spreading by residents or businesses. Adding that local authorities in Northern Ireland have been doing this for some time.

“It’s now clear that the majority of non-national and estate roads will never be gritted with the NRA and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council concentrating their efforts on the busiest routes, particularly now that there is a ban on overtime,” said Richmond, who sits on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

He added: “But in a county like Dun Laoghaire Rathdown where so many people live in housing estates and a sizable population live in rural, mountainous areas, there is a strong argument for allowing people to grit roads themselves,”

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it is continuing to treat 250km of roads out of a total public road network in its county of approximately 700km of roads. It said their objective has been to ensure that our primary roads, bus routes and other heavily trafficked routes are clear. The council claimed that budgetary and staffing constraints are not restricting road gritting.

Richmond said ‘scores’ of people in his area have been unable to go to school or work because they can’t get out of their estates due to steep hills at the entrances making driving “impossible”.

Meanwhile, Fingal County Council noted that the Department of Transport confirmed to them that people clearing footpaths are not liable if somebody hurts themselves as long as the clearing is done in a safe manor.

Fingal said: “We have been advised by the Department of Transport that people who clear snow outside their business premises or homes will not bring liability upon themselves provided they do not cause any risk in the manner by which they do so (ie by piling up cleared snow outside a neighbouring entrance, or causing an obstruction on a footpath).”

Dublin City Council also said, ”The Council would encourage all householders and shopkeepers to attend to the footpaths outside their dwelling and premises, particularly where no salting of the roads has been carried out.”

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