Salt Status Update
Local authorities nationally are being requested by the National Roads Authority to continue to prudently manage available salt supplies. There are currently sufficient supplies available to ensure that main roads continue to be treated. However, in anticipation of the cold weather forecasted for next weekend, local authorities are advised that priority should be given to the national road network, in order to conserve salt supplies in the run-up to and through the holiday period. This reflects the strategic importance of the national road network in catering for large volumes of traffic and providing access to all major centres of population. Accordingly, regional and local roads which had previously been treated may not be treated until additional supplies of salt arrive.
A number of salt shipments are at sea and due to arrive in the country during next week. These shipments had been anticipated before the coming weekend, but as a consequence of adverse weather in the Mediterranean, the loading of these ships had been delayed. The Authority will continue to liaise with Met Eireann on a daily basis, to monitor the weather situation through next week and beyond.
As part of the response to last January’s big freeze the NRA, in conjunction with local authorities has put in place a framework contract for the procurement of salt. Additionally, some local authorities have procured salt directly for example for non-national roads. As part of the prudent management of salt supplies, last Thursday, the NRA set an upper limit on salt usage for local authorities of 1,000 tonnes per night nationally up to this Thursday when the weather is expected to become severe again.
The weather forecast continues to show that the weather will be cold over the coming days with frost at nights. For Thursday night, Saturday and Sunday snow showers will affect parts of northern coastal counties, north and west Connaught and west Munster, with some snow showers coming inland. Widespread ice is forecasted on roads at night
This winter almost 75,000 tonnes of salt have been used and a total of some 15,000 tonnes of salt is available (average national total winter usage is 60,000 tonnes). The situation regarding new shipments over the period to Christmas day is that 26,000 tonnes are due to arrive over the period 21 to 24 December. These supplies will be supplemented on an on-going basis through the efforts of the NRA.
In anticipation of the cold weather forecast for next weekend, the National Roads Authority continues to advise local authorities nationally, to prudently manage salt supplies, in order to provide for those areas of the country that will be affected by the forecasted snow/freeze. Sufficient supplies are available to ensure that main roads continue to be treated on a daily basis.
The National Roads Authority will continue to liaise with Met Eireann on a daily basis to monitor the weather situation and to respond to local authority salt requirements through next week and beyond. In order to conserve salt supplies in the run-up to and through the holiday period, the public are advised that regional and local roads which had been treated may not be treated until additional supplies of salt arrive next week.
Sean O’ Neill 086-8230600