Topped up salt boxes will be ‘useless’ claim

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TransportNI has been topping off salt boxes in Dromore housing estates and leaving them with only a small amount of actual salt at the top, according to one Dromore resident.

The resident, who did not want to be named, claims the bins have sat out all summer with the remains of last year’s contents still in them.

The boxes are filled with a mix of salt and grit, but over the summer, he said, the rains have washed out all the salt, leaving just the base grit.

It’s on top of this, he claimed, that the DRD is adding salt, so that after the first few shovels of it residents will be left with useless stones.

The resident said he questioned the men topping the bins up about it and was told it was due to ‘cutbacks’.

“There’s 12 in our cul-de-sac and six of them are pensioners,” said the local man. “We rely on that salt in the winter. We salt the road for the DRD, but I’d say you’d get about three houses done before you were back down to stone again.

“If they’re doing this all over Dromore they might as well not have bothered.”

Dromore DUP councillor, Alderman Paul Rankin confirmed concerns had been raised with him.

He said: “I can confirm that I was contacted by local residents and I have sent correspondence to TransportNI from Brenda Hale MLA’s office seeking clarity and answers around the issue raised.”

Transport NI have responded to to the claims.

A TransportNI spokesperson said: “TransportNI routinely works to ensure that all of its 4,800 salt bins and 50,000 salt piles across Northern Ireland are ready for the public to use free of charge in winter.

“During this work any salt bins that require further attention are identified for maintenance.

“Anyone with questions about salt bins should contact their local TransportNI section office, which for the Dromore area is available on 0300 200 7892.”