‘Lack of gritting was totally unacceptable’

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Alliance councillor Pat McCudden has hit out at Roads Service over the lack of gritting on routes around Ballyclare, describing the situation as “unacceptable”.

Cllr McCudden made his comments following what he described as “traffic chaos” on several roads around the town on Monday morning (November 4).

The retired company director said that rush hour traffic on several key routes, including Ballycorr Road, Ballyeaston Road and Rashee Road had been “even worse than usual” due to icy conditions on ungritted roads. There was also a crash on nearby Carntall Road in which a young woman was injured.

“There are ongoing roadworks, lorries on the roads and the school traffic, but the problem was exacerbated by the fact that some of the roads weren’t gritted,” he said.

“I would have thought someone in Roads Service would have made a point of making sure the roads were gritted.

“There were a number of minor accidents on roads around the town, some of them on roads that should have been gritted. It is totally unacceptable the way that Ballyclare is treated.”

Responding to his comments, a spokesperson for Roads Service said that some of the routes had been gritted.

“Rashee Road and Ballyeaston Road are gritted from our Larne depot. All Larne routes were gritted on Sunday evening and again on Monday morning. Widespread showers on Monday morning may have reduced the effectiveness of the salt.

“Carntall Road is gritted from our Airport Road depot and regrettably, due to operational problems, it was not gritted,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Cllr McCudden has also raised concerns about the number, and speed, of lorries using narrow roads around the town during the ongoing A8 roadworks. And he has contacted Stormont Minister David Ford asking him to push for funding to help secure improvements to the road network in and around Ballyclare - something which he believes can’t come soon enough for commuters and the town’s business owners.