Council confirms road salting service will be severely curtailed

Donegal County Council says a greatly reduced salting service will be provided from tomorrow, with the priority road list broken into red routes and green routes. From tomorrow, only the red routes will be salted, with the green routes just being spread with sand and grit.

The list was published this evening after a lengthy meeting of council during which members outlined their concerns. It's also emerged that the council has been given clearance to source its own supplies of salt, but it will be next month before that can be achieved.

A short time ago, we spoke to senior engineer Vincent Lynn, who said as another cold snap begins to take hold this evening, the service will be much reduced from what was provided previously, and motorists must take extreme care.

He's urging motorists to carefully study the map of the new routes........

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/vlynn530.mp3[/podcast]

Council statement in full -

Travel alert issued by Donegal County Council

Alterations to salting / gritting operations effective from

12.00hrs Friday 17th December 2010.

DO NOT ASSUME THAT ROADS THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY TREATED WITH SALT WILL CONTINUE TO BE SALTED. DO NOT ASSUME THAT ROADS ARE ICE FREE EVEN WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN SALTED OR GRITTED.

Due to the severe weather forecast for the coming days and the reduced amount of salt available at present, Donegal County Council is issuing this important travel warning to all road users. Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate further with snow and arctic conditions forecast. This could result in widespread frost, hard packed snow, black ice and treacherous road conditions generally.

Donegal County Council’s current Winter Maintenance Plan allows for 1,200 kms of priority routes to be treated. There is a need to reduce the normal daily usage of salt due to limited supplies. The Council has therefore revised its priority routes and have detailed them on the attached map, which is also available for inspection on the Council’s website (www.donegalcoco.ie).

This change means that from 12.00hrs on Friday 17th December 2010 only the following routes, shown in red on the map, may be treated with salt, or a salt/grit mix.

Route No.

Route

100 Lifford – Stranorlar - Letterkenny
101 Carndonagh – Quigley’s Point – Muff – Bridgend - Buncrana
102 Bridgend – Manorcunningham roundabout
103 Stranorlar – Donegal Town (Drumlonagher roundabout)
104 / 105 Killybegs – Donegal Town – Ballintra – Bundoran
106 An Clóchan Liath – Dúchoraidh – Baile na Finne – Letterkenny
107 Termon – Letterkenny - Milford
108 Lifford – Letterkenny
BTC1 Buncrana Town Council salted routes
LTC1 Letterkenny Town Council salted routes

Other routes, shown in green on the map, will be treated with a sand / grit mix.

An Garda Síochána have asked the public to avoid travelling in these conditions, if at all possible. Donegal County Council are advising the public to look at alternative methods of travel during this period and to consider using the routes that will be salted, which can be viewed on the Council’s website.

There are a number of simple precautions that Donegal County Council advise for driving during these winter conditions:

  • · Avoid unnecessary journeys
  • · Do not assume that roads are gritted or ice free
  • · Keep up to date. Listen to local weather and traffic reports. Pay heed to the weather warnings alerting drivers of unsafe and dangerous driving conditions.
  • · Keep informed via transport websites such as;

www.transport.ie

www.rsa.ie

  • · Check Donegal County Council Website for Winter Gritting Routes

www.donegalcoco.ie

  • · Check your tyres…they are your only contact with the road. Tyres should be at least the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm but need to be changed before they get this worn. Tyres need to be to the correct tyre pressure to give the motorist the best chance in extreme conditions.
    • · Use your lights, motorists are advised to use dipped headlights during the day so you are easily seen. Headlights and taillights should be in working order.
    • · Understand your brakes. Check your car manual and find out if your vehicle has safety assist technology such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Anti Lock Braking System (ABS). Learn how these technologies can assist your driving in harsh weather conditions.
    • · Safe Distance. It takes longer to stop a car during the winter weather so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the car in front.
    • · Make sure you can see clearly. All too often motorists do not de-fog or de-ice windows and mirrors properly which can compromise visibility. Ensure windows and mirrors are clear, and carry a de-icer and screen scraper. Do not use boiling water as this can crack the windscreen.
    • · Beware of “Black Ice”. Black Ice is one of winter’s biggest hazards as it is difficult to see. Watch out for sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and near high walls.
    • · Be prepared. Motorists should carry a number of essentials in the boot of their car.

1. High visibility vest

2. Appropriate footwear in case you need to leave your vehicle:- e.g. boots

3. A hazard warning triangle

4. Spare wheel

5. Tow Rope

6. A shovel

7. De-icing equipment (for glass and door locks)

8. First aid kit

9. A fire extinguisher

10. A car blanket, working torch, additional clothing & some food and water

11. Ensure adequate fuel in case of being held up due to conditions

  • · In the event of a breakdown. Drivers need to ensure their vehicle is well in off the road so as not to obstruct other vehicles. The driver should also put on their hazard warning lights.

DO NOT ASSUME THAT ROADS THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY TREATED WITH SALT WILL CONTINUE TO BE SALTED. DO NOT ASSUME THAT ROADS ARE ICE FREE EVEN WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN SALTED OR GRITTED.

Maps and details available here : http://www.donegalcoco.ie/NR/rdonlyres/BB3A022C-8DD9-4012-92FE-0EF9CFDD8766/0/winter_service_flyer2.pdf