Council looks ahead to winter roads plans

Donegal County Council expects to have twice as much road salt on hand by the end of October as they did a year ago, but councillors still want assurances there will be enough if the county faces another arctic stretch this winter.

Donegal County Council expects to have twice as much road salt on hand by the end of October as they did a year ago, but councillors still want assurances there will be enough if the county faces another arctic stretch this winter.

“One thing the public does expect from us is an open and honest discussion of where we’re going this year,” Fianna Fáil Cllr. Ciaran Brogan said.

At Monday’s regular meeting of the county council, councillors discussed the proposed salting routes in the council’s winter services report. Councillors from the Letterkenny, Glenties, Donegal and Inishowen electoral areas said some road priorities they identified in area workshops were not included in the proposed routes.

Senior roads staff said the roads must be prioritised based on categories identified by the National Roads Authority, as well as by limits on resources and staff.

“Obviously we can’t put every single road as a top priority,” said John McLaughlin, director of service for roads and transportation. But he said the plan included every road that was on last year’s winter plan.

“When the snow falls and the ice comes, then we’ll know what the value of this plan is,” independent Cllr. Pádraig Doherty said.

The review will continue at a reconvened council meeting next month.

The council’s report also included a warning for councillors and the broader public: The council policy is to keep roads in a passable condition, but ice-free roads cannot be guaranteed.

See full story on page 6.