Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year to all.
Last night's fresh snow fall makes the gardens look pretty but the roads and pavements treacherous again. Yesterday's weather update from the Council Leader said:

The forecast is advising of possible snow accumulations of between 2 and 7 cm. between now and tomorrow morning. Gritting routes will be completed at 4.00pm today, 2.00am tomorrow morning and crews will be on standby for an 8.00am run if necessary. Ploughs are fitted and ready to be deployed. Road surface temperatures are forecast to fall below -4 so ice is likely to be a continuing problem.

Crews will be deployed gritting town centre areas, car parks and re-filling salt bins where necessary. On Sunday crews will be deployed to apply salt at school entrances if this becomes necessary ready for schools reopening on Monday.

Saturday is the last day of the holiday refuse collection catch up and resources will be deployed to ensure that this work is completed.

Gone are the days when all the men on the dole queue were employed to shovel snow off the pavements in town centres, and I'm not advocating that those days return. We do need to think carefully about our priorities and how we reconcile the need to keep the traffic moving for business and industry as well as personal ease with the need to help people to live independent lives. Having needed the emergency services on Christmas Day I was very relieved that the roads were clear, but having not been able to walk off the estate two days later I have every sympathy with those who want pavements done too.

The pavements in town centres are an obvious priority I suppose in that people who can get there by bus or car can then do their shopping, banking and so on. But how to clear the thousands of miles of pavement there must be in the rest of the borough? Sensible suggestions will be passed on to the officers who will be reviewing the Council's response to this exceptional snow problem later this month.

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