Our gritting crews worked themselves into exhaustion – from Ludlow Advertiser

The cold snap delivered snow up to 20cm deep in South Shropshire towns, deeper in many rural areas.

Schools closed. Parents took time off work. Kids skidded and sledded around. On Gallows Bank, children had great fun and it was free. Let it snow, let it snow…

There is another side to this. Snow, and the ice that follows it, traps vulnerable and older people in their homes. Buses can’t access many side roads. Many of the pavements in Ludlow were lethal on Wednesday and Thursday after packed snow partially thawed and refroze.

Shropshire Council’s gritting crews worked themselves into exhaustion. At the weekend, some worked 22 hour shifts. I have nothing but praise for the way council employees handled this bad weather.

In Ludlow, gritters gave priority to the main roads. Tractors were out clearing streets. We asked for main bus routes to be cleared to ensure people could get out as soon as practical. Access to the GP surgeries and the hospital was a priority. On Tuesday, town centre pavements were cleared to ensure the market could reopen and people could get to pharmacies and convenience stores.

We will review gritting and clearing priorities with council officers in the New Year.

We could do more together as a community. I was impressed by the joint operation between Shrewsbury Town Council and Shropshire Council to get the town back into action. Many residents in Ludlow cleared footpaths. We should encourage more to do so.

In a weather emergency, we cannot expect Shropshire Council to deal with all problems across a large county. We need to do more to help ourselves and support our neighbours.

This article was first published in the Ludlow Advertiser on 21 December.

4 thoughts on “Our gritting crews worked themselves into exhaustion – from Ludlow Advertiser

  1. and if you clear the paths you are open to litigation if some one falls on that stretch. our road and temeside were a death trap we pay our taxes so the council should provide the service full stop

  2. Terry Angell is absolutely right. Under the all too often sting-in-the-tail British law, supporting your community by clearing snow and ice on pavements outside your property can lead to legal action against you if someone is then injured or just slips over on “your” patch.

    Not only does SC get away from their own responsibilities, as in providing public safety, they then also get out of the results of that failure by passing on the liability to community minded taxpayers … aka ‘additional screwing of the plebs”.

  3. You are not open to litigation if you take reasonable care. Here is the official advice from the government and the Met Office:

    “Don’t be put off clearing paths because you’re afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. Follow the advice from the Department for Transport below to make sure you clear the pathway safely and effectively. And don’t believe the myths – it’s unlikely you’ll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully.”

    1. Thanks for your appreciated clarification Andy, but considering we are dealing with a Con council, in a county with a large majority of Con supporters, with a clear, combined intention of annihilating as many of us plebs as pos, in the shortest possible time, I wouldn’t trust them not to use every possible means to achieve that end … even myths.

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