Complaints over gritting after freeze

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Concerns have again been expressed over the level of gritting on our roads - particularly in town centres and car parks.

Barely a couple of weeks after the last heavy cold snap the cold conditions have returned and for many the return to work on Monday started with chipping cars out of the heavy frost.

With temperatures plummeting to minus six degrees centigrade, there was a heavy ground frost and many roads were left looking very icy.

DUP MP David Simpson hit out at the lack of gritting particularly in the town centres and car parks over this most recent snap of cold weather.

Mr Simpson, who has received a number of complaints on the issue, said: “This most recent snap of cold weather has not caught Road Service unawares in fact it has been forecast for many days.

“This has caused great concern to me as I have been receiving many calls about the lack of gritting in town centres and in Road Service owned car parks.

“I have written to Minister Kennedy in this regard because ultimately I believe he needs to take responsibility for ensuring pedestrians safety whilst on the roads, on footways and in public car parks.

“I believe it is unacceptable to say it would cost too much to grit the car parks and town centres.

“When we look at the number of accidents, trips, slips and falls and the cost this bears on the health service and the injury caused to people I believe it would be the right and proper thing to increase the gritting regime.

“I will be pursuing this as we face what will most likely be a cold frosty January.”

SDLP Councillor Declan McAlinden was also very disappointed with the lack of gritting.

He was furious many rural roads hadn’t been gritted, in particular the Bannfoot Road in Derrytrasna.

The SDLP councillor said: “I’ve been on to Road Service regarding the non gritting of the Bannfoot Road, Derrytrasna.

“I’m extremely disappointed they deem this road unworthy of gritting.

“This is a main road leading to Lurgan with a large number of rural dwellers relying on it for access to work, school and God forbid, emergency services.

“A number of accidents have occurred over these last few days and I am concerned that a serious accident will occur unless Road Service use some common sense and put people safety before costs.

“I will be taking this further,” he said.