Black ice on local roads causes chaos

Roads Service is being asked to introduce a better gritting system after early morning accidents caused by black ice, brought chaos to the roads on Monday morning.

Banbridge Councillor Glenn Barr blamed ungritted roads near the town for causing widespread disruption and tailbacks along many routes.

One of the accidents was on the Scarva Road which was reported at 6.05am, while another occurred on Grove Hill Road around 8.34am. There were no reports of any injuries.

Mr Barr said that he was also caught up in the chaos yesterday (Monday) morning. A road journey from Rathfriland to Banbridge which should have taken just ten minutes took nearly an hour and he contacted the minister telling him so.

“I have spoken to the minister and told him to sort it out,” he said. “One accident is one too many as far as I am concerned. The minister assured me he will be looking into the matter.

“There should have been a better system in place. It is just was not acceptable. Thousands of people travelling to work on Monday morning were let down.”

Upper Bann MLA Stephen Moutray claimed that people’s lives were at risk: “It was evident that Roads Service had been ‘caught out’. There was black ice on many of the main roads including the M1. I believe we need answers as to why they failed to act.”

The Leader contacted the DRD for a response but at time of going to press none had been received.

At a recent council meeting Banbridge District Council was asked to seek information on several local roads as part of a lobbying exercise to have them upgraded.

The council sought information on traffic volume and accident history on busy local roads including Castlewellan Road, Rathfriland Road, Scarva Road, Lurgan Road and the Drumnascamph Road, as part of the initiative.