Minister allocates additional funds to Limerick local authorities to keep roads clear of snow this winter

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

LIMERICK City Council has got a top-up in its funding to keep the roads clear of ice and snow this winter.

LIMERICK City Council has got a top-up in its funding to keep the roads clear of ice and snow this winter.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has allocated an additional €2,400 for City Hall’s winter maintenance grant to bring the total fighting fund up to €21,700.

This compares to a total grant of €428,000 to Limerick County Council. However, crews in the county are responsible for 3,600km of road, compared to a total network of 180km in the city.

With another harsh winter being predicted by some long-term forecasters, Minister Varadkar said the Government was determined not to be caught off-guard like its predecessor. “We have no way of knowing whether another severe winter is on the way. But we must do our very best to be prepared,” he said.

Until 2009, local authorities were sourcing their own supplies of salt but this task was co-ordinated by the NRA nationally from last year.

The NRA has already sourced 140,000 tons of salt - more than the 115,000 tons it eventually used on the national road network last year. And it has also ordered an additional 40,000 tons for local authorities, bringing the total set aside for regional and local roads to 60,000 tons.