1,500 tonnes of salt ready for winter

Westmeath has enough salt to treat the county’s priority routes 25 times this winter, with access to further supplies if needed.

The council has a stock of 1,500 tonnes of salt currently in its stores in Athlone and Mullingar, and anticipates that there will be sufficient stocks available to maintain supplies throughout the winter gritting season.

Cllr Gabrielle McFadden had asked for an update on the county’s salt stores for the “forecasted hard winter”.

Director of services Hugh O’Reilly said the stock for this winter represented a significant increase on previous years.

“Nationally, there is a structure in place, whereas previously each local authority looked after their own stock. Now there are regional stores that local authorities can avail of. I am quite confident our stock should be sufficient,” he said.

The National Roads Authority have a separate stock for gritting motorways, for which the council is no longer responsible.

Responding to calls for footpaths to be considered for gritting should there be a repeat of the ‘big freeze’ of winter 2009/10, Mr O’Reilly said the council did not have the resources to do so, but that there would be no legal implications for business owners who gritted paths outside their premises.


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