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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

‘Be extra careful’ – DfI strike action to disrupt gritting services across network

Yellow gritting lorry with snowplough parked beside piles of road salt in warehouse.
Disruption is expected to gritting services.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has urged road users to be extra careful on the roads this week as a period of cold weather arrives and industrial action by members of the GMB and Unite unions continues. 

The Department’s delivery of Winter Service (gritting of the road network) will be disrupted this week as there are insufficient staff available to run both an am and pm gritting rota.

A precautionary grit of higher ground routes, most at risk, has taken place this afternoon. Gritting of the scheduled network is to take place overnight. Road users are asked to exercise extreme caution when driving, particularly on untreated roads. 

In addition to Winter Service, other essential services which are routinely delivered by DfI staff on the road network may also be disrupted. This includes:

  • Response and clear-up operation when there are incidents on the road such as oil spills or unexpected debris

  • Repair of serious defects such as manhole collapse or potholes

  • Gully clearing and cleansing

The Department continues to work with the Department of Finance and the unions involved to try and resolve the issues around pay.

Members of the public should continue to report defects on the road network using nidirect:

Winter Service: The Department will continue to  monitor the long range weather forecast and media outlets will be updated on the level of gritting that will take place.

Incident response: As a result of the ongoing industrial action the Department may be slower to respond to incidents on the road network such as obstructions, oil spills etc. This will mean that road users may experience additional delays and disruption.

Defect repair: As a result of ongoing industrial action the Department may be slower to make safe or repair some defects such as potholes that occur on the road network. Road users should therefore take extra care when making their journeys.

The scheduled gritting network includes 107 routes comprising of 7,000km of road.

The industrial action is in relation to particular issues around the remuneration of this group of DfI staff. 


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