Bradley appeals for common sense

A LOCAL councillor has appealed to the Roads Service to use some common sense with regards to their gritting policy.

Alderman Maurice Bradley is worried that someone will have to lose their life before before a section of the Newmills Road is gritted.

The DUP councillor said there has been several accidents on the part of the road, which is close to where the DOE store their road salt, including one as recently as last Monday.

“I would ask the Roads Service to start gritting this part of the Newmills Road,” said Alderman Bradley during last Tuesday night’s Road Service presentation to Coleraine Council.

“There has been a number of accidents on this section of road, which is a bridge on a bend and is particularly dangerous in icy conditions.

“There are houses and a place of work in the vicinity surely we have a duty of care to people in this area and the drivers too?”

Divisional Roads Manager, Deidre Mackle, said Roads Service try and use their resources as best as possible.

“It costs around £5 million to salt roads throughout the province throughout the year,” said Ms Mackle.

“In the Northern Division we have 40 gritting lorries available to us and it costs £23,000 to complete the three hour circuit.

“We try to spend the resources we have in the best possible way. A decision was taken to salt roads which carried 1,500 or more vehicles per day.

“This means we cover 80% of the province’s traffic and 20% of the network. If we were to increase that to 90% it would cost us another £5 million per year, which means we would have to cut other services.

“So to get the balance right we feel it is best to stick with our current policy. Areas like this have salt bins provided.”

Ald Bradley said it was a lot to expect the pensioners who live on the road to go out and grit it.

He said: “This is not the answer. Do we really expect a 76 and a 72 year old to go out in the morning and grit this part of the road?

“Surely a lorry can take 10 minutes out of its schedule to come up and grit this section? I’m not asking for the whole road to be gritted just this small section.

“This is a dangerous part of the road in icy conditions and common sense has to be used. I don’t want to have to see someone die just to get this done.”