Just over one fifth of roads in Laois are treated during freezing conditions, it was confirmed recently.
The recent meeting of Laois County Council heard that almost 23% of the entire road network in the county is included for treatment.
This is in excess of the national average, the meeting was told.
“This represent a 10km (2.2%) increase from last year in the treated length,” director of services Kieran Kehoe said.
The winter maintenance season runs from October 16, 2017 to April 30, 2018.
Overall in the county, including the M7 and M8 motorways through Laois (67km), a total of 468km of roads are treated.
“Salt is generally available in council depots and other designated locations for community groups to collect and spread themselves in times of more severe frost and heavy snow,” Mr Kehoe said.
Cllr Ben Brennan said roads serving schools in the county should be prioritised.
“Last year we were lucky as a bus carrying school children nearly went into a ditch,” he said.
The Ballyfin Road out of Portlaoise should also be included for treatment, Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said.
It takes around five hours to treat the roads, and sometimes this has to be done twice, Mr Kehoe said.
“We can’t get to every road and every school,” he said.
“We have limited machinery and limited resources,” Mr Kehoe added.
He said they focus on the areas that have been prioritised.
“People have to exercise caution on the roads and at any time are probably only a kilometre from a salted route,” he said.
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