Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Deputy Anthony Lawlor, has called for Kildare County Council to introduce a new scheme to deal with the gritting of roads in rural areas. In a letter to the County Manager, Lawlor calls on local authorities to introduce a scheme where the council works more closely with farmers and rural communities to address the issue of gritting rural roads which are not currently on the councils salting route. Under this proposal the council provides the grit and farmers take on the responsibility of gritting rural roads in exchange for a nominal fee.
“Similar schemes operate successfully in the UK, through the provision of amenities grants to farmers, who tender to have a store of grit on their land and undertake the responsibility of spreading the grit in winter. The store of grit is also available for the community as a whole and people can use it as required. This scheme has worked effectively in rural areas of England and Scotland and I see no reason why it could not work here”.
“There was concern among local authorities in the past that such schemes could have negative legal implications. However, I believe that the Attorney General confirmed in 2010 that farmers could partake in the gritting of public roads without fear of legal liability”.
“I would urge Kildare County Council to give serious consideration to the introduction of this scheme and the development of a network of grit bins throughout rural Kildare. I believe that the IFA would be receptive to assisting local authorities in rolling out such a scheme and the benefits for local communities go without saying”.