Over 2000 tonnes of salt used on roads

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MORE than 2000 tonnes of salt were used during the last winter on the 203km stretch of roads in the Ballymoney Borough, a meeting of the council has been told.

During a presentation to the council, representatives of the Roads Serice said the amount of salt used - 2398 tonnes - was the equivalent of 99 full grits.

The official winter maintenance period started last October and ended on April 30. The first application of salt took place on October 31 and the final on April 6.

The winter was described as a long and difficult one for Roads Service. The season had low temperatures from early November and record heavy snow and blizzards were recorded at the end of March which brought chaos to many, particularly the farming community, who lost large numbers of animals trapped in the snow. Some are still trying to recover from the devastation while others said it would put them out of business.

A co-ordinated responsve involving multi-agencies, local council’s NIE power team and a range of other bodies was required.

Roads Service said that all stakeholders could take satisfaction in the success of the operations.

Roads Service and their snow clearance contractors endured a difficult winter keeping the strategic road network clear for the free movement of people, goods and services and were widely and rightly commended for their efforts, a report suggested.

The decision to hold a strategic salt reserve within the local division taken in light of the very cold 2010 winter season was vindicated as the severe weather necessiated a significant increase in salt usage, the report added.