Council doesn't even have an extra 2m of salt to cover the roads outside Laois schools

Council doesn't even have an extra 2m of salt to cover the roads outside Laois schools
By Ryan Dunne ryan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

The council does not have even an extra 2m of salt to make safe the roads outside Laois schools.

The news came at County Hall last week, when Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald proposed a motion calling on Laois County Council to include the road on the Portlaoise side of the Heath School, after exiting from the roundabout on the motorway, on the salting programme.

She received a written response from Mr Edmond Kenny, winter maintenance manager, saying that the winter maintenance plan prioritises the routes that will be treated.

The salting units are running at full capacity to cater for the existing routes. There is currently no spare capacity to cater for this extra distance or to add any additional routes to the plan.

Cllr Fitzgerald said she was very disappointed with the response, as there should be a red alert for a school.

She said the hill coming down from the school was very dangerous and asked could the councillors not insist that the roads be done.

“That response is very negligent, that’s a very dangerous hill, it’s downhill nearly all the way. People are absolutely terrified, we should insist on that route being done,” she said.

Mr Faran Nasiem, engineer, said that if the council covered this route, then some other route would not be done.

“What we have covers the priority route, we don’t even have 2 to 3m extra,” he said.

However, Cllr Fitzgerald said that the priority routes should be near schools.

Cllr Mary Sweeney, chairing the meeting, said that better management of the system was needed, while Cllr Jerry Lodge suggested that the councillors use their discretionary fund to cover the routes not already being done.

Ms Angela McEvoy, planning, pointed out that there are over 60 schools in the county and all have to be given the same priority. However, she said she would speak to the director of services to see what could be done.