Council must treat R286/R287 says Dolan

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Cllr Frank Dolan has accused the Council of giving more attention to gritting and salting the regional roads of south Leitrim.

Cllr Frank Dolan has accused the Council of giving more attention to gritting and salting the regional roads of south Leitrim.

The comment arose at the Manorhamilton Municipal District Meeting after Cllr Dolan called for the R286/R287 to be included in this year’s Winter Maintenance programme.

Cllr Dolan said the section of roadway was 17km long and explained there were frequent accidents during frosty conditions. He also noted that this was the road used to divert traffic if an accident occurred on the N16.

“This road is gritted and salted by Sligo County Council as far as the Leitrim border but then it is untreated,” he observed.

Director of Service, Martin Dolan, explained that Leitrim County Council did not have the capacity to extend routine treatment to every road.

He added that over 300km of roads in Co Leitrim were identified as priority winter maintenance routes.

“Our time frame for gritting and salting roads is limited and roads have to be prioritised. We cannot promise to put the R286/R287 on the schedule, but if time permits we will include it,” he said.

However Cllr Dolan said he refused to accept this response “in any shape or form”. He insisted that the logic behind not gritting this route “did not stand up” and told the Council it was taking “the easy way out”.

His call was backed by Cllr Felim Gurn who noted that nobody wanted to see a repeat of the situation four years ago where people were trapped in their own homes.

The District Engineer said funds could be taken from the discretionary road maintenance budget for the gritting of roads like the R286/R287 but councillors would have to “decide whether to salt roads or fix potholes”.

Cllr Dolan said this situation was unfair and said: “More attention is given to the regional roads of south Leitrim”. However the District Engineer insisted this was not the case noting that the Council dealt with between 85 to 90% of Regional Roads in north Leitrim as part of the maintenance programme.

Cllr Dolan was told the Council could revisit the matter at the next meeting, but he said this was not acceptable. Cllr Gurn agreed stating there had “already been four to five accidents on this road. We have to have a plan B in place this winter,” he warned.