MP hopes for thaw in gritting policy

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South Antrim MP William McCrea has expressed his regret that the Regional Development Minister has failed to respond to the plight of drivers using the Largy Road and Diamond Road in Crumlin during icy conditions.

Mr McCrea said that despite campaigning on the issue, Roads Minister Danny Kennedy had failed to include these roads in the Department’s salting schedule.

Reflecting on a written response received from the Mr Kennedy, Mr. McCrea described the reply as “largely dismissive of the arguments presented to him”.

“I led a delegation of business personnel and local residents to meet with the Minister, pressing for the inclusion of Largy Road and Diamond Road on the gritting schedule,” Mr McCrea said.

he added: “ The lack of recognition by the Minister of the strategic importance of these roads, carrying traffic from major employers in the area, is indeed regrettable and the policy on this matter ought to be reconsidered.

“In his response, the Minister stated that “whilst updated traffic figures show a slight increase in volumes for both roads, unfortunately, they still do not meet the criteria for inclusion in the salting schedule, as they are not classed as main routes”.”

Mr McCrea said he been advised that while exceptions to policy can be made for special circumstances, such as roads leading to hospitals and other strategic locations, “areas of increased business use are not considered an exception”.

“I call upon the Department to re-examine the criteria set for road gritting and that an acknowledgement of this important employment hub near Crumlin will secure the recognition it deserves in the salting schedule,” Mr McCrea added.

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