Thomas O'Hanlon 0

Grit All School Bus Routes

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Minister Chris Hazzard MLA

Department for Infrastructure
Clarence Court
10-18 Adelaide Street

Dear Minister,

We write to seek an urgent review of your departments Winter Gritting Policy.

We believe the current policy is not fit for purpose, it does not meet the needs of our rural communities and it is putting lives at risk. In particular, we would seek to have all school bus routes included in the Winter Gritting Schedule as of right.

Secondary Gritting, is Second Class Treatment for us as a rural community and for our children. It’s too inconsistent, it means a road can be treated one morning and not the next, it means some areas get salted whist others do not. It is appalling and as local communities we’re demanding action.

At present your department only grits roads which have 1500 vehicle movements a day. This is an unrealistic target for many rural communities. We have a large number of rural schools in this community and many are unreachable for parents on mornings where there has been frost or snow. Better still, many bus drivers are refusing to even attempt some roads because of the lack of salting and understandably so.

No policy should treat rural communities and rural schools as second class citizens, and furthermore this cannot be looked at in pure monetary terms.

We are pleading with you to take action. We want to see ‘All School Bus Routes Gritted.’

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