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New Winter gritting arrangements for rural schools

28 September, 2009

Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy today announced new winter gritting arrangements for areas around rural schools.

The new arrangements follow an examination of the Department for Regional Development’s Winter Service operation around rural schools, commissioned by the Minister, following the severe wintry conditions in December 2008. The examination was conducted by a team of senior Roads Service officials and the new measures will be implemented this winter.

The Minister said: “Most people understand that in exceptional winter conditions there is bound to be some disruption. But there is always scope to improve the way we handle these events, and Roads Service has used the experience of last winter to develop better measures for dealing with areas around rural schools which are regularly affected by bad weather.

“Roads Service will be introducing new procedures, which mean that affected schools can contact their local Roads Service depots to request salting during severe weather conditions and that if Roads Service become aware of ice or snow in these areas they will act immediately. Salt piles and salt bins will also be provided to affected schools upon request.

“I believe that the implementation of these additional measures will help parents, pupils and staff reach these rural schools safely and assist in avoiding closures and high absentee levels in future adverse weather conditions.”

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