FOR the second winter running Cambridgeshire County Council has introduced gritting restrictions either as a result of a failure to maintain adequate stocks of grit or as a result of Government restrictions on supplies of grit. Whatever the reason, it mea
FOR the second winter running Cambridgeshire County Council has introduced gritting restrictions either as a result of a failure to maintain adequate stocks of grit or as a result of Government restrictions on supplies of grit.
Whatever the reason, it means that most of the roads in Huntingdonshire that would normally gritted are not gritted at all. Last Sunday and Monday mornings Marley Road, Hill Rise and Ramsey Road in St Ives quickly became highly dangerous, not just to drive on but to cross on foot, through black ice, resulting in numerous vehicle accidents.
These roads give access to the whole of the north of St Ives, three schools, a major supermarket, an industrial estate and a large number of homes.
In the council's Local Transport Plan one of the key aspects is safety, including: "We propose that our road safety strategy focuses on providing safer routes to schools etc." Do the people who write these plans live in our county and experience the effects of not gritting our roads?
The police, fire brigade and NHS are stretched, both financially and in terms of their manpower, as a result of the failure to maintain a safe road network. Not to mention the claims being paid out by insurance companies that we will all have to pay for in increased premiums, or the effects on businesses throughout the county as people struggle to get to work.
It does not matter whether you drive, cycle or walk, the condition of our ungritted roads is a danger to life and limb. These costs should be measured against the cost of gritting. What will it take to change things? A major accident involving a bus full of passengers? An HGV ploughing into a local home?
It should be mandatory that the council maintains an adequate supply of grit and regularly grits all the designated roads.