31/10/2016

Over 130 Gritters Available As Part Of Winter Safety Initiative In NI

Over 130 gritters and 12 specialist snow blower vehicles have been made available as part of the winter safety service in Northern Ireland.

From now until April next year, 300 staff will be on hand to salt the road network that serves around 80% of daily traffic flow, Minister for Infrastructure Chris Hazzard confirmed.

Minister Hazzard said: "Now the clocks have changed, darker mornings and evenings and lower temperatures around this time of year make driving conditions more difficult and I want to encourage all road users to take extra care on our roads this winter.
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"While we can't predict the weather winter may bring, the public can be assured that my winter safety service is now up and running and whatever the weather, will be working to keep our main roads open.

"Over 70,000 tonnes of salt is stockpiled and ready to be deployed should the weather impact on the main road network. Reserve stocks of around 20,000 tonnes of salt are also available at strategic locations and additional salt bins are provided on a self help basis on routes not included on the salting schedule."

As part of the winter safety operation, TransportNI salts the main through routes which carry more than 1,500 vehicles per day. In exceptional circumstances, roads with difficult topography carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 vehicles daily will also be salted. This means that 28% of the road network will be salted and will directly benefit around 80% of drivers.

(CD)

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