Dickson voices concerns over Roads Service and NI Water plans

Alliance Party East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has said it remains to be seen if plans put in place by Roads Service and NI Water will be enough to keep homes and travel networks operating smoothly as winter approaches.

The MLA was speaking after he attended a briefing on the Winter Readiness Programme by the two organisations at today’s Regional Development Committee.

In the past both organisations have been criticised after a service breakdown came on the back of extreme winter weather conditions hitting Northern Ireland.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “Both Roads Service and NI Water presented their plans clearly for the winter weeks ahead. If everything goes according to plan both organisations will be ready to face the harsh winter conditions many are expecting, but it is a big ‘if’.

“Even the best laid plans can start to fall apart if the unexpected happens and with current weather patterns no-one can predict precisely what will happen in the next few winter weeks.

“During harsh winters the gritting of local roads – or lack of – can create panic and worry for many. It is for this reason that I directly questioned the delegation today on their plans, asking if they are prepared to use common sense on the issue.

“While they have rules and guidelines that they must adhere to, local road problems could often be overcome by listening to suggestions from elected representatives on which roads are most in need of gritting in their constituency.

“I know this can be a worrying time of year for many and I would urge any constituents in East Antrim with concerns over road gritting and access to salt boxes to contact my offices immediately on 028 9335 0286 or gavin.norris@party.niassembly.gov.uk.

“Addressing potential problems now will ensure we have the correct tools in place to tackle whatever weather comes our way in the coming weeks.”

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