KILDARE County Council is advising householders and business premises owners to help keep the roads and footpaths clear - in the event of the return of snow and ice this winter.
The local authority has received legal advice to the effect that liability does not arise for snow that is cleared in a safe manner on footpaths or in front of premises.
According to the council property owners in particular should make sure that they have adequate supplies of salt in place to ensure the safety of employees and visitors.
The Council is also urging the public to reach out to their older neighbours during episodes of severe weather to make sure that they are safe and well.
People gritting or salting their own roads with salt or grit supplied by the local authorities have no liability where the material is delivered, stored and used in a safe manner and does not cause a hazard
During the period 27 November to 26 December 2010, there were several snowfalls and some very cold nights on which temperatures fell as low as -18c. In some cases temperatures stayed continuously below zero for several days at a time. Ground froze to a depth of about 30 centimetres. A rapid thaw set in on 26 December and temperatures rose by 20c in the space of two days.
The severe cold and variability of the weather affected road transport and water supplies in County Kildare.
There are 2,000 kilometres of public roads in the county and the council says that constraints on resources mean that the Council must prioritise the gritting/salting of the main routes in the county. The details of these prioritised gritting routes are available in map and text format on the Council’s website.
In periods of severe cold weather it is not possible for Kildare Local Authorities (Kildare County Council, Naas Town Council and Athy Town Council) to treat all roads and footpaths. The priority for the Council is to keep the main routes in the county, which carry the larger volumes of traffic, open.