THE SDLP’s Mark H Durkan has condemned an attack on a gritter in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry on Monday evening.
The gritter was pelted with stones, but the driver was not injured.
Gritter services have been withdrawn from the Ballymagroarty area until further notice.
Said the Foyle MLA: “This is a disgraceful attack on someone going about their job to make our community safer.
“I would call on those behind this attack to cease this type of activity immediately, they are doing nothing but depriving the community of vital winter services and putting people at risk with potentially an out of control gritter on our roads.
“Temperatures are currently freezing and the people of Ballymagroarty will now be without a gritter.
“Gritting is an essential service that makes our roads safer in cold temperatures, it helps prevent accidents and ensures people can still travel and go about their lives whatever the weather.
“This is a hilly area and the lack of a gritter will make things much more difficult for buses trying to take children to school and people travelling to work.
“My thoughts go out to the driver caught up in this attack. While I’m grateful they were not injured this would still have been a traumatic experience.
“This is an attack on the local community and those who carried it out should hang their heads in shame.
“They need to wise up and focus on contributing something positive to their community, instead of making life difficult for residents.
“I’ve been in touch with DfI and community leaders to establish a timeframe for the return of services to the area and to ask what we as elected community representatives can do to help facilitate the swift return of this vital winter service.”