The New Year Snow: Who should be clearing the way?

The New Year Snow: Who should be clearing the way?

The New Year Snow: Who should be clearing the way?

Many reports have surfaced that taxis and buses will not travel into certain residential areas, estates or driveways due to the snow and icy conditions which make for unsafe driving; and who would blame them? No one wants to risk or endanger lives or their vehicle.

But surely it doesn’t take much to clear the … roads and pathways but the question is; whose responsibility is it? Should residential management companies and local authorities clear away the snow and ice around residential complexes and estate footpaths and roadways? If not, is it our responsibility to go out with a shovel, sand and salt to clear the way?

In America, the rules are strict; it is your responsibility (and in most places the law) to remove snow from your property within 24 hours as if somebody slips outside your door, you might be held liable. If the pavements are not cleared, the local crews will do the job and the home owners will be sent the bill! However, they are given free “sidewalk sand” to do the job.

The New Year Snow: Who should be clearing the way?

  • Has there been a lack of responsibility and flexible planning from management companies and authorities to clear the way and make footpaths and roads safe?
  • Or should we take the onus and play our part to get our estates and pathways to a safe and usable order?
There are 23 comments for this article
  1. eileen ozdag at 10:06 am

    I think one is responsible for one’s own pavement but I do think that all roads should be cleared and gritted by the local authority as there is enought unemployment so people should be paid to clear the roads. Also grit should be made available free to everyone in this day and age.

  2. Maria Kane at 7:09 pm

    There’s been a lot of whingeing about it, but I think we were all taken totally unawares, local authorities and the ordinary person. I never experienced such a long snowfall and from now on I’ll make sure that there is plenty of grit and salt in the house to cover at least three weeks. Also will have better walking shoes for the snow. I’ve had a few mishaps on the way to work. Will be defintiely more organised for future years regarding these and having enough food supplies in the house so that I run out of nothing essential. We’ve learned our lessons and time to move on and take responisibility for this Act of God. It makes us realise how good the weather has been to us most of the time.

  3. Ray at 2:58 pm

    now with the new snow being on the ground, the council/management co. should be out plowing the roads instead of waiting for it to freeze and then gritting/salting it. it would make it a lot easier to salt and grit if there wasn’t as much on the ground.
    also if it doesn’t snow again it is going to take days for the ice to disappear. after salting the roads and the ice has melted they should be out with road sweepers to take as much of the moisture of the roads so that it doesn’t freeze in layers.

  4. Bill at 1:22 pm

    If you guys have listened to Al Gore you would have been ready for this Global Warming Warning he gave you. Do just the opposite of what he says. duh. Do clean your own walkway

  5. Shelly at 10:11 am

    Private residents should be responsible for their paths and if there is no management company, they should be responsible for the road/paths in their estate. Management companies should be responsible for their properties. Ideally there will be well organised residents committees who have planned for this type of weather. Local Corporations should be responsible for everything else.

    Marge is quite right – whoever is getting paid, should be doing the job.

  6. Bella at 1:06 am

    I now live in the US but lived in Ireland during the last BIG snow so know what it is like for the coutnry to come to a stop. I agree it is the homeowner responsibility to clear their driveway however if they are public roads it is goverment responsibility. The whole economy is coming to a hault while the government pass blame form one department to another. Do they have to drive to work every day?

  7. colm at 11:09 pm

    I am sure that somewhere there is an obligation to clear the path outside your home. I am old enough to remember the 1962/63 times, and we all did it then as kids helping our parents. It was like the first thing we did the next day after the fall of the night before. Subsequently I recall as a law student finding the obligation in question, but trying now (the indicies are so bad) to relocate it I cannot. There is an old law, the Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878 which empowers each Local Authority to make bye-laws to require such clearing. I am sure they exist for Dublin anyway, but they have obviously been well hidden from the eyes of google, and no public official is referencing them for whatever reason. Anyway my view is simple: we are all in this together. The mere act of all clearing the snow from the paths in front of our homes (particularly before it becomes so impacted and iced as to be impossible to clear and so very dangerous) would make life so much safer for everyone. The rest of the world (with real seasons and obvious reasons) require it, we should learn from them and follow their example.

  8. Niko at 8:20 pm

    Guys, there is something called winter tyres..we put them on October till end of March, for under 7 Celsius, with or without snow, with sun or rain..just in case! Even your busses dont have any..Being in Ireland very regularly, winter is always dangerous with icy paths and frozen rain every year..With your normal summer tyres the road even with 5cm snow is like oil..You risk your own lives..ignorance kills! We clear the snow outside our homes very early in the morning before people go to work, otherwise we are responsible for any injuries..Learn to be responsible! Thank you and all the best!

  9. Marge at 5:28 pm

    You are wery right about this

  10. Marge at 5:22 pm

    Im originally from Estonia, and in my country it is the homeowners responsibility to clear their own drive-and walkway. Here as far as I know people living in housing estates pay huge money for maintance, so I think taht everything whats outside their garden for public use should be the maintance companys, who takes the money, responsibility.

  11. Alan at 5:20 pm

    The are 400,000+ people on the dole in Ireland, if 10% were fit and able to clear snow on pavements there would be no problem.

    The only problem is Ireland has no leadership to takle such a basic problem, the A&E departments of all hospitals are full with people young and old who have falen on the Ice, while we pay people to sit at home and do nothing.

  12. Terry O’Connor at 3:05 pm

    What would we have done for News if we had not had the Snow. Every programme is now preoccupied with it. What a load of Wingers. A little bit of the White stuff and we become a bunch of pitiful moaners. Nearley forgot the Scammers who used the snow as an excuse for not going to work. What a manky group of people we are here.

  13. Michelle at 3:02 pm

    If residents are obliged to pay management fees 1500 a year for example then the co. can ‘MANAGE’ the estate the rare time the sand or salt can make the estate roadways clear

  14. Edel at 2:12 pm

    Clearing snow is one thing folks, easily done and should be done by each of us, outside our own homes, but ice is another matter. No matter how often you shovel, with temperatures this cold, without sand or salt, you won’t get rid of the ice. And for this we either supply our own or leave the footpaths treacherous. Collective community responsibility is not a contractual obligation, it should just be the decent thing to do! Now, getting the sand or salt from the shops without clear roads is another matter!!!!!

  15. Nikolai at 1:53 pm

    We came from Eastern Europe and live in Wicklow Town.We know from our childhood that we need to clear our footpath at anytime of the year. We cleared our and our neighbours footpath from the fisrt day of snow.Our sourrounding neihbours after seeing us clearing the path, began to clear their footpaths but only on the 5th day since the snow started.When leaving our estate there is a hill and no cars could leave the estate, we called our friends who brought us sand to throw on the road allowing the cars to be able to get out.Only yesterday a week after the snow started did someone bring sand to put on the roads all around the estate…

  16. Mick at 1:33 pm

    Also having lived abroad where this weather is common, it is the owners’/tennants’ responsibility to clear steps and footpaths immediately in fornt of the property they own/occupy. I am not sure if there is a similar council bye-law applicable for Dublin, but serious thought should be give to introducing one. Roads should always be the local authority’s responsibility – but I have seen very little evidence of people clearing their own footpaths in the estate I live in or any of the surrounding estates in Dublin. Time to get the shovels out – no need to wait for council salt!

  17. brigid at 1:19 pm

    Get the shovel out, have fun & exercise & get to know your neighbours in the proces.

  18. Patricia at 1:01 pm

    I agree everyone should take responsibility for clearing the footpath outside their house so that people can walk along the paths and should clear paths for elderly neighbours. Ideally roadways in estates should be cleared by the relevant council.

  19. Graham at 12:55 pm

    PAYE tax,levies,prsi,road tax,vat,vrt, maintenance fees and your asking do you think we should clear our own roads, your having a laugh!!!
    Yes I would clear my own paths/driveway if salt/grit was supplied and available but whats the chances of that!!!!!

  20. Joe G at 12:54 pm

    Can we please stop being the world capital of Whine Flu? The government may be failing to keep our roads clear, but we individually have the responsibility to keep our footh-paths and driveways clear.Good citizenship means taking responsibility

  21. Deirdre at 12:46 pm

    I think we should take responsibility for the area linked directly to our own property in realtion to footpaths, but the council should do the roadways even within an estate.

  22. D O’Shea at 12:45 pm

    I lived in southern Germany for years, and yes, like America, it is the responsibility of the home owner to clear the footpath and entrance to their own house before 8 a.m. in the morning, otherwise liable for any accidents caused. However, the responsibility for clearing the road itself remains with the local authority in Germany. Rented properties are the responsibility of the owners as well, who normally have paid a management company or caretaker to take care of it. In addition, grit is made available in large wooden boxes along the streets so you just go and take it when you need it.
    So it’s not so black and white and like everything, it is and should be a shared responsility. I hate this pushing of responsibility onto everyone else; if everyone took care of their bit, we’d have no problem.

  23. m at 12:43 pm

    Of course people should be taking some responsibilty-not just for clearing of snow and ice form on and around their properties but also for the manner in which they are driving-I saw one person cause traffice chaos in a suburb as they had chosen to drive (in an incredibly incompetent manner) 300 yards to their local chipper….

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