Fury as road is left out of salting policy

Cllr John Duffy standing along a stretch of the Aughnacliffe to Killoe road earlier this week. Photo: Shelley Corcoran
Up to ten road accidents have been recorded along a stretch of road local authority officials have omitted from its winter roads maintenance programme Cathaoirleach of Granard Municipal District, Cllr John Duffy said last week.

Up to ten road accidents have been recorded along a stretch of road local authority officials have omitted from its winter roads maintenance programme Cathaoirleach of Granard Municipal District, Cllr John Duffy said last week.

Cllr Duffy said there was an urgent need for the main routeway that links Aughnacliffe to Ennybegs in Killoe to be included in any road salting policy following a spate of recent accidents.

“There have been at least ten accidents on that road since Christmas and that’s just not acceptable,” he said.

Area engineer, Brian Connaire said while he empathised with the concerns raised by Cllr Duffy, the council’s winter services plan for 2015 had already been signed off on.

“That’s the policy document that has been set out by the roads’ policy group,” he said.

“That document sets out priority routes that you are all familar with.

“Winter services resources are at full capacity in servicing roads at the moment and additional resources aren’t available.”

The only other option open to councillors, he said, was to insert the main Aughnacliffe to Ennybegs road by removing a route already contained in the council’s winter services programme.

Not satisfied, Cllr Duffy said he had still to fully understand why one of north Longford’s busiest roads was not part of that strategy.

“That particular route is the one we are all getting calls about,” he replied.

“Eighty per cent of them are in relation to Rathmore Hill as well. I know you will tell me about funding, but with the amount of traffic that travels that road, it beggars belief the amount of calls that have to be made.”

Fianna Fail’s Martin Mulleady spoke of the depth of anger among local residents.

“My phone has been hopping about Clontumpher School. People weren’t happy it wasn’t salted and we just don’t seen to be adressing this.

“People are getting very peed off with Council and I agree with them.

“They are paying more and more money taxing their cars and yet they are driving on roads that aren’t salted and are dangerous.”

However a meeting of the Infrastructural and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee heard from Senior Executive Engineer Eamon Bennett who said that the salt supplies were “maxed out” covering the agreed routes as they stand.