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Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers. - Road Tar Specification.

Thursday, 16 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 5

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Mr. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan Zoom on Richie Ryan asked the Minister for Local Government whether he is satisfied that the road tar specification B. S.S.76/1943 is adequate for modern roads; if he will amend the specification as has been done in other countries to meet improved standards and to provide safeguards against the evaporation of oils after tar is spread; if, in view of the many incidents of melted tar on roadways with consequent damage to motor vehicles and annoyance to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, he will ensure that local authorities take all necessary precautions against melting tar; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney At the outset I would like to emphasise that the operation of surface dressing which sometimes gives rise to the condition referred to by the Deputy, is at present, because of its low cost and enduring quality, the only practicable method by which the surfaces of dust-free roads can be maintained in this and most other countries. It has always been recognised that the operation has limitations and the Deputy may rest assured that, should a new method which will provide a level of service as good or better than that at present in use at costs within the resources available, be evolved, my Department would be most willing to encourage its use by road authorities. As I intimated in reply to the Deputy's question of 17th ultimo on the same subject, the standards of quality of tar for road works are continually under review in my Department, and in fact tars and [761] bitumens are supplied to standards complying with the most up-to-date specifications. However, occasional bleeding of road surfaces appears to be inevitable due to factors outside the scope of specifications for road tars and bitumens, such as sudden variations in weather and temperature which it would be impossible to foresee. The measures which road authorities can take to mitigate the inconvenience caused to road users by the occurrence of this and other conditions arising from surface dressing operations continue to receive the constant attention of my Department.

Mr. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan Zoom on Richie Ryan Is the Minister aware that a new specification was made in Britain in 1965? Is he further aware that the British Tar Association have said that tar containing or made from Segas or CWG had not got the binding properties of tars made in strict accordance with the 1943 specification? Would the Minister say why tar is permitted to be manufactured here from Segas and CWG in direct conflict with the prescribed method of manufacture set out in the 1943 specification referred to?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney I have nothing to add to what I said to the Deputy. I should think that the specification to which tar is supplied at the moment is as I have said an up-to-date specification. I am afraid I am not in a position to query that.

Mr. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan Zoom on Richie Ryan I suggest the Minister should make inquiries. It is not being made in accordance with the specification.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney That is a matter I shall certainly consider. If the Deputy asserts that it is not in accordance with the specification, I shall question it.

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