Leitrim Councillor frustrated at inability to add 2.4km stretch of road to winter gritting plan

A Leitrim Councillor has expressed his frustration that the local authority is unable to add any extra roads to its current winter maintenance plan.

Councillor Brendan Barry has been campaigning for the Council to provide salt or grit for an additional 2.4km of road near Keshcarrigan which currently is not part of the winter maintenance plan.

He claims that just 300kg of salt would cover the road but a Council official explained that the Council’s winter plan needs to be a “consistent” use of resources and the winter program needs to be delivered ‘night after night’ for commuters.

The meeting heard that approximately €400k was spent on providing gritting on 54 occasions last year that it would cost an extra €75-80k euro per year to provide an extra Gritting truck on the county’s roads to add to its winter maintenance plan.

The Sinn Fein Councillor says there is a simple solution to his problem :

Leitrim County Council has issued a statement to Shannonside FM this afternoon in relation to the maintenance plan:

The 2020/2021 winter gritting programme is designed and is being delivered based on the available resources. In addition, we have experienced some mechanical problems this winter with our gritting plant which has resulted in the redeployment of plant – both hired and LCC’s own plant – which has been necessary to meet the commitments given in the Winter Maintenance Plan.

In preparing the Winter Maintenance plan, consideration is given to the sustainability of routes, which can be gritted as conditions require, sometimes twice in a 24 hour period, and taking account of the plant and manpower available. In preparation of the 2021/2022 Winter Maintenance plan later this year, and taking account of available plant and resources at that time, we will review the entire Winter Maintenance Plan and if additional capacity in our resources is achieved, we can then consider additional routes for inclusion in 2021/2022 plan.