Parents were left to negotiate treacherous driving conditions this morning as some roads to primary schools in the county remained unsalted.

One parent who shared a picture with the Impartial Reporter said it was the worst conditions she had seen on the road “in 15 years”.

Sarah Jane Gibson was bringing her two children to St Mary’s Killesher when she took the photograph accompanying this story, and she revealed that many parents did not even attempt the trip.

“I put the photograph into a parent group this morning and most said that they did not venture out at all,” Sarah Jane commented before adding:

“We have a post office, a chapel, houses and a school all within 500 yards from the main road yet It is not salted, and it is just so so dangerous.”

The road to St Mary’s Killesher, like many rural schools in the county, is not gritted by the Department of Infrastructure. On the NI Direct website there is a gritting map available that shows the roads are to be gritted. You can find the map here

The Department, on their traffic watch website, lay out rationale behind their gritting schedule which it says caters for roads carrying more that 1,500 vehicles per day. It also states that roads carrying “more than 1,000 vehicles per day may also be included if they are in hilly areas or there are other difficult circumstances”, and that “special allowance is made for school and other buses by a weighting factor. For example, a 40 seater bus is counted as 40 vehicles.”

But Sarah Jane thinks that there should be special consideration taken for any road that has a school on it:

“I know the argument is made there is not enough traffic on the road but I think an exception should be made when it is a school."