Snow progress on Shropshire snow warden scheme

Last summer Shropshire councillors agreed to set up a volunteer snow warden scheme across the county. The cabinet agreed to push ahead with the scheme in September.

Yesterday I was told “Due to other priorities, and particularly having a new highways contractor to mobilise and the unusually high number of potholes due to the harsh winter, we unfortunately will not be able to get snow wardens up and running this year.”

This is frustrating new as we face snow overnight tonight. The swingeing cuts to the council’s highways budgets means that it has no hope of clearing most pavements – and has never cleared most local pavements anyway. We need to empower volunteers to clear and grit short stretches of pavement.

Weather warnings 6am 31 January 2019

There is no law preventing you from clearing and gritting public pavements. You are very unlikely to be sued if someone slips because pedestrians have a duty of care to themselves when walking on snow and ice. However, many people still don’t feel empowered to grit or clear pavements. That was the idea behind the snow warden scheme, proposed by Councillor Julian Dean and myself. Volunteers would be insured, trained, provided with a hi viz vest, a shovel and grit. But it seems we will have to wait another year before we get a scheme that has been in place in Telford and Wrekin for years.

If in the meantime you want to clear pavements, here are the council, government and Met Office guidelines. You can use grit from council bins for the public areas but not you own property.

Derbyshire Council has produced a video on how to spread grit. Its main message is that you don’t need to spread much to make a difference.

Last year, we witnessed people using council grit for their drives but spreading any on the pavements outside their homes. That heinous antisocial behaviour in my book. And if you are clearing your drive, please don’t block the pavement with snow. That’s not only antisocial, it forces pedestrians out into the traffic.  

Andisocial snow clearance

If every household cleared and gritted a short stretch of pavement and a bit more for elderly or inform neighbours, life would be so much easier and safer for pedestrians.

Priority for clearing the highway in Shropshire

Roads gritted around Ludlow and grit bins

Full county map.

Shropshire Council’s Winter Service Operational Plan says the highways network should be cleared in the following priority order:

a) The Minimum Winter Network

b) The Defined network

c) The Secondary network including Car Parks

d) Accesses to villages, hamlets, rural communities and schools.

e) Residential roads and footways.

f) Roads to single premises.

Defined footway and cycleways will be treated as part of the Secondary Routes. Other footways and cycleways will be treated when resources allow.

2 thoughts on “Snow progress on Shropshire snow warden scheme

  1. ‘twould be a nice gesture for everyone to splash out a mere £4 on a bag of grit and salt and a small snow shovel and clear the section outside their houses.

    We need to get away from “it’s their job”….remember on the busses “not my job”…we all have social responsibility and there is too much dependence on “they should do it” as if we have no responsibility, albeit moral or social….

    People power is the way it needs to go, after all the majority of moaners voted the austerity crowd in, now make it good and clear for Ludlow….

  2. True, the moaners vote.d the austerity crowd in. Let them take responsibility for their actions.

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