Clarke welcomes applications for emergency snow clearance contract

Newry Times News Posted by
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Alliance South Down spokesperson Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the Department of Regional Development’s decision to open applications to farmers, agricultural contractors and other owners of suitable equipment to apply for emergency snow clearance.

During the heavy snowfalls back in March 2013 Councillor Clarke had questioned the lack of resources deployed by Roads Service to clear many rural roads which were impassable due to heavy snow fall across South Down.

Clarke stated: “During March 2013 heavy snowfalls across much of South Down brought many rural areas in the Mournes and Slieve Croob area to a virtual standstill with many roads for days being totally impassable resulting in local farmers taking action and using their own agricultural plant and diggers to clear rural roads.

“Such was the scale of the heavy snow in March 2013 within South Down that the Department of Agriculture, Emergency Services and Northern Ireland Electricity had to use helicopters to access many rural areas due to roads being completely blocked off by snow drifts.

“I am very glad that the Department of Regional Development is now making proper contingency plans for the incoming winter by seeking to bring in additional farmers, agricultural contractors and owners of suitable equipment to apply for the 2013 snow clearance contract which will run from November 2013 to April 2014.

Clarke added, “This is a very common sense approach to seek contractors for emergency snow clearance which if needed will mean that the Department of Regional Development will be able to immediately deploy contractors to clear any roads which are blocked due to heavy snowfall to allow emergency services, utilities or the public access.”

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