Lack of grit blamed for hazardous driving conditions in Cambridgeshire

ICY roads were blamed for a series of accidents across Cambridgeshire on Monday as many of the county s routes went untreated. Cambridgeshire County Council said it was being forced by the Government to restrict the number of roads it grits because of a n

ICY roads were blamed for a series of accidents across Cambridgeshire on Monday as many of the county's routes went untreated.

Cambridgeshire County Council said it was being forced by the Government to restrict the number of roads it grits because of a national shortage of rock salt.

The result was slippery roads and 25 car crashes reported to Cambridgeshire police by 8.30am on Monday - including NINE separate accidents on just one stretch of road.

The nine vehicles all ended up in a ditch off St Mary's Road in Ramsey.


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A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said one person had suffered a leg injury and was treated at the scene but did not require hospital treatment.

Pc Tony Barrios said: "There were icy conditions and we were noticing quite a high number of crashes being reported to us. Drivers should take more time over their journeys and drive to the conditions, being aware that some roads are slippery."

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As reported by The Hunts Post last month, national grit shortages had prompted the Government to order all local authorities, including Cambridgeshire to cut back on gritting by 40 per cent.

Cambridgeshire opted to grit only A roads, a priority network of B routes, waterside roads and routes to hospitals.

That would have included St Mary's Road.

The county council said the road - and the other routes in its priority list - had been gritted on Sunday afternoon and St Mary's Road was treated again on Monday.

The Met Office has said the weather will be warmer for the majority of this week, but temperatures are expected to dip below freezing again on Friday night.

However, there is no sign that the gritting restrictions will have been lifted by then.

The Department of Transport told The Hunts Post it could not give any idea when the restrictions on gritting and rock salt would be lifted.

The county council started the winter with a supply of 9,000 tons of grit - an increase of about 50 per cent on previous years - but said on Monday that supplies were now down to about 900 tonnes, although a delivery was expected.

"We are not getting the replacement stocks of salt that we have ordered," a spokesman said. "This week we are getting 650 tonnes, but we use around 90 tonnes every time the gritters do a full run.

"We have a further 1,300 tonnes on order for next week, but it's up to the Government to decide how much of that we actually get."

INFORMATION: Anyone with information about any of the car accidents is asked to contact police on 0345 4564564.

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