The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn has welcomed Cork County Council’s latest addition to its machinery fleet, six state-of-the-art salt spreaders. Each valued at over €220,000, the new machines are set to bolster the Council’s Road maintenance during adverse weather conditions.

Four of the new salt spreaders were funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) with the remaining two funded directly by Cork County Council. They will replace the oldest existing machines and will be based across the county, with three in the Council’s machinery yard Mallow, one in Ballincollig, one in Glanmire and one in Skibbereen. The new vehicles will play a crucial role in maintaining specified National Roads across Cork County and respond to winter weather challenges.

Mayor Cllr Frank O’Flynn highlighted how,

These new vehicles represent a significant step forward in our ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of road users during the winter months.  The vehicles will operate from key locations across the county, ensuring we are equipped to respond to changing weather conditions and proactively address potential hazards on our roads.

Cork County Council maintains a fleet of 25 salt spreaders, varying in types and ages. The ongoing fleet modernisation initiative aims to systematically replace older units with newer, more technologically advanced models, contributing to a more reliable and efficient winter service program. Plans are currently underway to secure TII funding for additional new vehicles next year, reinforcing the Council’s commitment to road safety.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Valerie O’Sullivan said,

We recognise the vital role our salt spreaders play in keeping roads safe during winter conditions. Investing in modern equipment ensures that our dedicated teams can respond effectively to weather challenges, contributing to overall community safety. We are grateful for the support and strong partnership we have with Transport Infrastructure Ireland which enables us to deploy modern Winter Service Vehicles for the benefit of the community and prioritise road safety.

Cork County Council overseeing the maintenance of the largest road network by any local authority, with responsibility for 391km of National Roads and an extensive 11,739km of Regional and Local Roads.

Annually, from October to April, Cork County Council implements a comprehensive Winter Service Plan, managing 15 designated routes across the county. These routes, comprising Priority 1 (National Roads) and Priority 2 (Regional Roads), cover a combined distance of 1300km. Pre-treatment measures, based on weather forecasts predicting temperatures below 1 Degree Celsius, are designed to prevent frost and ice formation. Salt spreader crews typically commence operations in the evening, completing a route that can take up to 5 hours. Additional patrols may be required in the early morning, depending on overnight conditions and severe weather events.