Call for Derry to get special gritting status

Traffic on Brooke Street in Derry.
Traffic on Brooke Street in Derry.

Calls have been made for Derry to be treated as a special case for gritting because of its numerous hills.

A campaigning local resident from Brooke Street made the call after witnessing a number of near misses during the snow and ice over recent days.

Adrienne Carlin Donohoe said she has been campaigning for 20 years to have her street- a busy route connectingBishop Street and Foyle Road- included in the network. She said that in the interests of equality and safety, politicians- some of whom have already shown support- and other groups should rally behind a campaign to ensure Derry gets special status.

“There have been so many near misses,” Mrs Carlin Donohoe said. “There was a bus driver last week had to veer to the right to avoid hitting a woman. There was also a van driver who went up the street sliding from side to side.

“This is an extremely busy route. The buses use it to pick up children from school, and delivery lorries use it as well. And the children use the road too as a slide, but they are sliding on to a blind spot on a main road.”

Speaking about the one grit box on her street, she added: “You can’t expect elderly and disabled residents to go out on slippy streets to use the one grit box left for other motorists.

“We have a really hilly city and steep streets should be gritted because they are dangerous otherwise.”

A TransportNI spokesperson responded that224 miles of the primary route network in Derry was being gritted within a three hour period this winter.

“It is impracticable to treat every road in the city,” she said, adding:

“TransportNI is grateful to the residents of Brooke Street and to the many members of the community who make use of almost 300 grit boxes that are provided for self-use and maintained free of charge in the Derry area.”

Between midnight and 10:00 am on Tuesday all routes had been treated 4 times.