§ Mr. Moss
Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Roads Service under its chief executive, Mr. W. J. McCoubrey. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from W. J. McCoubrey to Mr. Roy Beggs, dated 4 March 1997:
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me to reply to your recently tabled PQ enquiring about responsibility for protecting road users from icy conditions on roads in rural areas as a result of water flowing onto them from adjoining lands.
Roads Service has no statutory responsibility to treat roads affected by frost or ice. However, as a service to the public, some 6,750 km (27%) of the public road network receives salt treatment when ice or snow is forecast. Responsibility for water flowing from adjacent land onto a road rests with the owner or occupier of the land in question. Where this occurs, Roads Service has powers to serve a notice on the relevant person requiring him or her to do such works as are reasonably practicable to remedy the situation.
I do appreciate the particular difficulties which can arise when water flowing from private land freezes in wintry conditions. If any particular site is giving you concern please do not hesitate to contact the Divisional Roads Manager for the area who will be glad to have the matter investigated.
I do hope you find this information helpful.