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Councillors taking flak over dangerous condition of roads

EAST Clare’s local and minor roads will suffer as a result of reduced resources according to Clare County Council and local councillors are urging for maintenance works to be continue on these roads.

 

Councillor Joe Cooney raised the issue at a recent meeting of the Killaloe Electoral Area councillors where he queried whether the council would be able to maintain local and minor roads throughout the electoral area in light of cutbacks.

He stressed some of these roads are “in a dangerous and bad condition” and are in need of maintenance.
Responding to the worries expressed by the area councillors, Hugh McGrath senior executive engineer in the Killaloe Electoral Area said, “We are all concerned about local roads. They are the ones that suffer when funds reduce. We need to decide how best to address it.”

“Over the coming years, we will have a difficult challenge to maintain all roads but in particular local, tertiary roads given the reduced resources available. While severe winters will impact our ability to meet this challenge, equally importantly, the co-operation of landowners and land occupiers as well as road users will also impact our ability to meet this challenge.

“Landowners/occupiers have a significant part to play in maintaining drainage and boundaries, avoiding heavily loading these minor roads and in assisting in repair where this is deemed necessary by the authority. While it is accepted that some of these roads have deteriorated, we will continue to maintain them within the available resources and expect to continue to prevent any road becoming particularly dangerous given that all roads have the potential to be dangerous if they are not driven on in accordance with the driving conditions at the time,” Mr McGrath responded in a formal reply to the motion.

Councillor Cooney stressed there is “major concern” locally about these roads. “A lot have gone into disrepair and maintenance is not happening due to a lack of resources. We are taking a lot of abuse and flack over this, people are paying their household tax, their motor tax, they are cutting their hedges and are not getting a good standard of road for their efforts. If it gets worse then some of these roads will become impassable,” Councillor Cooney argued.

Supporting the motion, Councillor Pat Hayes said the council needed to be seen best using its funds and commented there are “some projects where the council could have better managed its money”. “People want to see us best using our resources. Every councillor is concerned about minor roads being in disrepair and I think we need to prioritise the worst of them,” he said.

Councillor Michael Begley felt the council should “avoid heavily loading these roads” and he urged for measures to be taken to address daily overloading of these minor roads, which he described as “very unfair” on those living along these minor roads and he said he “wouldn’t expect any resident to have to spread stone”.

Mr McGrath stressed foresters had co-operated with the council and have made contributions and he outlined the contributing factors to these roads falling into disrepair included heavily loaded vehicles, poor drainage and overhanging trees.

He said the council were willing to work with landowners who were interested in filling in potholes on minor roads provided they make contact with the council.

“We have no problem with it as long as we agree the works and inspect it afterwards. In principle I can’t see why we can’t work together on this,” he said.

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