130 gritters, 12 specialist snow blowers and 300 staff available to salt the 7,000km of the road network

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed that the Department’s winter service is ready to take action if the weather impacts on our roads.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 4:31 pm

In a statement she said that approximately 300 staff, 130 gritters and 12 specialist snow blowers are available to salt the 7,000 kilometres of the road network on the salting schedule.

Launching the service from the Balloo site in Bangor Minister Mallon said: “Winter weather can be unpredictable and as the temperature are beginning to drop staff are ready to be deployed as necessary to help keep traffic moving safely and freely on our main road network.”

The Department for Infrastructure salts the main through routes which carry more than 1,500 vehicles per day.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In exceptional circumstances, roads with difficult topography carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 vehicles daily will also be salted.

“The Minister added: “We currently have 55,000 tonnes of salt in stock in our barns and reserve stocks of around 20,000 tonnes of salt available.

“I have also made provision for further supplies, at the rate of around 15,000 tonnes per month to be made available if required.

“Over 5,600 salt bins and 63,000 grit piles are also available for use by the public on a self-help basis on selected routes not included on the salting schedule.”

A gritter and snow plough

As in previous years, arrangements are in place to enlist the help of private contractors and local farmers to assist in efforts to clear blocked roads.

“ We all have a responsibility to take care on the roads at all times and adjust the way we drive, ride or cycle to ensure it is appropriate for the conditions. The best advice is in the Highway Code: slow down; take extra care even if roads have been salted; be prepared for road conditions changing over short distances and take care if overtaking a gritter.”