‘It seemed that Derry just came to a standstill in the snowfall’

A snow plough in Brooke Park last Wednesday. Picture by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye
A snow plough in Brooke Park last Wednesday. Picture by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye

Derry councillors are to seek information about the locations of grit and salt boxes in the city and district.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins made the proposal at a Full Council meeting as she raised concerns that “with regard to the recent snowfall we have had it seemed that Derry just came to a standstill.”

She said that this was no disrespect to the authorities responsible for gritting the main road network, as that had been done. “The fact that there was snow lying on top of it just made it ineffective.”

“I propose we write to the Department for Infrastructure to enquire where exactly the salt boxes are located in the city.

“There does seem to be some areas and particularly, roads adjoining onto main roads, that did not have the facility of supplying salt and whilst phonecalls were made to various organisations that had salt, they couldn’t get in because of the gridlock,” she said.

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly said that this was an important issue for local people.

He said the council had previously undertaken to try to get funding for large grit boxes to be placed in central locations and that it was his understanding that they may have now secured some funding and he asked for an update “because there does seem to have been a lot of chaos over the last couple of days.”

A report on this will be brought back before the Environment & Regeneration Committee.

Seconding Colr. Dobbins’ motion SDLP Colr. Brian Tierney said that the mapping called for, related to the smaller yellow salt boxes directly placed there by Transport NI.

Independent Alderman Maurice Devenney concurred there had been issues of late, but said that in terms of Brigade and other particular areas with many elderly or long-term disabled people, they would not be able to avail of the boxes by themselves.

Independent Colr. Darren O’Reilly said that he would also like the criteria for securing salt boxes on streets, to be shared with the council also.