Concerns raised about Glenshesk gritting issue

SINN Féin Glens councillor Noreen McAllister, along with North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay, have been contacted by the Glenshesk Road residents about their serious concerns with the road they are living on “not being gritted”

Daithí McKay said: “The residents are telling me that they feel that this is unfair discrimination against rural communities with the gritting policy and have asked myself and Noreen for help.”

Noreen McAllister said: “Daithí and myself feel that the gritting policy is not applied fairly as the streets around Armoy are gritted and the Glenshesk Road isn’t. We are appalled that there isn’t even a grit box along the length of this road which is the main road for people to go to work or get their shopping and the main bus route for the school children and any emergency services carrying out their duties to the public.

“It was reported to me that last year a disabled man that lives on that road was unable to receive his carers service and that a special group had to be sent from Belfast to take him to hospital at a huge cost to the health service.”

Cllr McAllister added: “This is totally unacceptable and I was outraged when I heard that the carers were unable to fulfill their duties. People depend on these services and because of the dangers of this road the carers cannot do their job.”

She said there was also the issue of schoolchildren walking on the road because buses will not travel on the road in tricky conditions.

Added Cllr McAllister: “Now with the first fall of snow and ice of this year these serious problems have raised their ugly heads again. One very concerned father who lives on this road contacted me to tell me that he left his children to the bus stop and then had to go down to collect them 30 minutes later (freezing cold) as his children got a text from a friend who was on the bus saying that the bus wasn’t going up the glen to collect them all because this road is not gritted.

“He also told me that one of the main members of the Community Search and Rescue Team lives along the glen road and his response time to emergency calls are critical.

“St Olcan’s Primary school in Armoy is on a slope leading onto the main Ballycastle Road, and I was shocked to hear when some parents told me that they have slid on numerous occasions in their vehicles, and as you could imagine it doesn’t bear thinking about what would happen if a child stepped out, or a car was coming up that road. This is totally unacceptable and we urge Roads Service to reconsider gritting this road as the stories we are hearing are horrendous.

“This is by no means the first complaint we have had from the people in the wider Glens area, so Sinn Féin have asked to meet with Roads Service and Translink to resolve these serious issues as it will be all too late if someone is seriously hurt or God forbid killed,” said Cllr McAllister.