NO MONEY TO TREAT TREACHEROUS ROADS AND FOOTPATHS
As motorists continue to drive on roads that, at times, resemble ice rinks and pedestrians negotiate their footing on treacherous icy footpaths, local politicians have called on the Government to address the problem.
“We have to put more pressure on the Government to get the extra money,” Fermoy Mayor Noel McCarthy told The Avondhu.
Cork East Labour TD Sean Sherlock is indignant at the cuts that local authorities have sustained, which have affected services at large.
“It is easy to point the finger at local authorities, but they don’t have the manpower and the money to do it. If you keep squeezing resources to local councils you won’t be able to support services. I don’t blame the councils. It all points back to the Department of Environment and Minister John Gormley.
"We have to find other sources of income for local councils. We have to put less money into banks and more money into local authorities. We have to reappraise how we spend money. Too much money is wasted on regulatory bodies.
"In the past few weeks we have seen a lack of proper government action. We can’t even grit the roads properly. We need more money to provide services to citizens who need it most. We have reached a crisis point after 20 years of Fianna Fail.
"I keep making the case for increased spending on roads. The amount for road allocation keeps decreasing every year. County Cork is 26th out of 28 counties in the national pie.
"North Cork has ceased to become a political priority and that can only be readdressed through political lobby. We need to change the system where it equitably reflects the number of kilometres of roads. We are out with a begging bowl. It will take a change of government before we can see a reprioritisation of road spending,” Deputy Sherlock told The Avondhu.
Cllr Pa O’Driscoll will be raising the issue of salting of estates and rural roads at a meeting of Cork County Council next week. Speaking to The Avondhu Cllr O’Driscoll proposed the concept of salt bunkers being provided for estates and on isolated rural roads where there is no prospect of the council being able to spread salt.
“This is not a new idea, as I have spoken to people who have used these services in Northern Ireland. On dangerous junctions or on hills where it is known that ice is a problem, salt bunkers are provided, and local communities can spread salt if needed.
This is a simple solution to some of the problems that we have been facing over the past few weeks.” Cllr O’Driscoll went on to say, “people living in housing estates and in rural areas have been suffering from the extreme weather conditions. Footpaths and roads have been in a very dangerous condition, and we must seek alternative methods of treating these footpaths and roads if the council is unable for any reason.
Communities that want their estate or rural road to be safe would surely be willing to contribute to the effort of spreading salt.” Cllr O’Driscoll added, “it may be too late to implement any sort of community involvement scheme for the immediate problems we face, but I am sure that the extreme weather we have experienced over the past few weeks will become more common, and therefore we need to start thinking of ways to address this issue.”
Friday 8th January 10:24am