Winter driving warning

Winter driving
Winter driving

North west motorists have been warned to take extra care on the roads as winter approaches.

North west motorists have been warned to take extra care on the roads as winter approaches.

Deidre Mackle of the Roads Service says the authorities are well prepared for the seasonal change in driving conditions.

“Every night from now until the middle of April, we will have 86 staff on standby to salt main roads, helping drivers to cope with wintry conditions.

“Salt barns and stockpiles have been filled to maximum capacity in Northern Division which encompasses the council areas of Antrim, Ballymena, Larne, Ballymoney, Moyle, Coleraine, Limavady and Londonderry.

“When ice or snow is forecast, we have 40 gritters available which can salt the main network in just over three hours, a massive logistical exercise that costs around £23,000 each time it takes place.

“During periods of prolonged snow, all gritters will be fitted with snow ploughs and efforts directed to clearing snow from motorways and the trunk roads, before moving to other main roads and the busiest urban link roads.

“The operation will continue until all roads are cleared, but this may take some time, even with all resources deployed. In very deep snow, Roads Service will use its snow blowers, the latest of which can shift 1,600 tonnes of snow an hour,”

Ms Mackle says Roads service have also been in discussions with local councils in relation to the grtting of footpaths.

I am very pleased with the progress made in this area with almost all councils now working with Roads Service to deliver this service.”

“Roads Service will continue to provide salt bins and grit piles at strategic locations, for use on a self help basis to help prevent the formation of snow and ice on pavements and untreated roads - and will be continually replenishing these during the winter.”

More information on driving conditions is available online at trafficwatchni.com