A near tragedy on the Crosskeys Road has prompted a local assemblyman to call for more gritting in rural areas.
North Antrim DUP representative David McIlveen has written to the Minister for Regional Development asking her to give more autonomy to local Transport NI staff to decide where priorities around winter services should lie.
His call follows an incident on the Crosskeys Road recently when a car, sliding on black ice, collided with a bus shelter housing school children. There were no injuries from the incident but Mr. McIlveen said it highlighted the dangers that can come on the roads at this time of the year.
He said: “People are fully aware of the difficulties in keeping our roads safe particularly at this time of year, however I believe the policy that Transport NI work to in relation to gritting is far too focused on urban roads as decisions to grit are based almost solely on the amount of vehicles using the road. As this incident highlighted some of the most dangerous roads in my constituency are actually some of the quietest. Currently, on such roads, piles of grit are dispersed at the road side for residents to distribute, however on country roads with large gaps between properties again this can be wholly ineffective. I know that roads are expensive to grit, but I believe unless the starting point is an understanding of local roads and the consistent dangers that are on them then an effective solution will not be found. I believe rather than a singular one size fits all policy we need to see a more localized approach to keeping our roads safe and this is what I am asking The Minister to give more thought to.”