Fianna Fáil councillor Damien Ryan has called for more returns to be seen on the roads from the velocity patchers owned by Mayo County Council. The Ballinrobe-based councillor welcomed the news that Mayo County Council was in the process of finalising the purchase of a fourth velocity patcher for the county - but he told the April meeting of the council, 'we should be seeing more return from those machines on the road'.
He said: “It is imperative this happens now, we are going to purchase a fourth velocity patcher now and that is in essence one per district. Some are larger than others - but you can uniformly divide them by kilometre of road, but the least we should be at is that each of those machines should be working 250 working days per district. That represents 50 working weeks of the year in the private sector; machinery with that kind of investment would be working significantly longer than your five workings days, if we get five working days, 50 weeks of the year out of those machines is representative to the districts; it is an investment in our networks and saves our networks and it ultimately carries out the repair before it gets to a state of disrepair; particularly for us councillors in the rural areas, the two main things people ask for is road repair and verge trimming. I would ask that the velocity patchers work independent of our roads plans. They need to be working those hours and weeks on the networks."
Cllr Ryan's request was backed up by other councillors, with Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly saying: “I agree they are no benefit to the people of Mayo sitting in the machinery yard, they need to be out there every day, they cost €200,000 to €250,000,” while his party colleague Cllr Gerry Coyle added: “There should be two shifts, someone come on in the morning and another in the evening and keep it going until we get the job done.”