Council defends ‘24 hour’ gritting policy

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Lincolnshire County Council has defended its winter gritting operation in light of a recent spike in accidents during the holiday period.

The council reportedly spread ten thousand tonnes of grit on Lincolnshire roads over Christmas and New Year.

In spite of this, the council has been hit by a wave of complaints from Lincolnshire residents berating the state of the roads, claming that many roads were going untreated.

This also follows a reported rise in the number of accidents on Lincolnshire roads over the holiday period, including an incdent in Faldingworth.

When approached by the Market Rasen Mail, a spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council said that ‘freezing rain’ was to blame for treacherous road conditions.

The wet weather conditions on Sunday evening caused treated roads to have grit washed away and requiring retreatment, leaving a two hour window where the roads were left without grit.

Richard Fenwick from the winter maintenance team said: “During the winter we monitor the weather around the clock so we’re ready to take action whenever necessary.

“We treat all major traffic routes and A and B roads, amounting to around 2,000 miles of highway.

“A treated link is provided from each main village to each major traffic route and every primary and secondary school has a salted route which goes at least within 500 metres of its entrance.

“Where possible, a treated link is also provided to within 500 metres of all main NHS hospitals and all train and bus stations.

“Like every other authority in the country we’d love to grit every single road, but it’s simply not possible.

“Our team were out at 7pm on Sunday to treat the roads in light of the freezing temperatures that were expected.

“Unfortunately, there was some rain overnight, which appears to have affected certain areas.

“In light of this, our teams went out and gritted all these routes again between 7am and 8am the following morning.

“However, people should remember that although salt is a big help it isn’t a complete cure. Even gritted roads can be treacherous and drivers will need to take care when out in freezing temperatures.”

This comes as the region is set to endure freezing weather conditions for the rest of 
the week.

Residents wrote to the Mail offering mixed opinions on the gritting situation.

Mark Adams said: ‘The council generally do a good job but the roads were really bad just after Christmas.”

Helen Fisher added: “People need to drive to the 
conditions. It’s not the council’s fault. They are doing a good job and they can only grit so 
many roads.

“I drove from Horncastle to Louth last Tuesday and the roads were slippery. It was also very foggy. There were still idiots looking to overtake me near Cadwell Park and 
it just wasn’t safe.”