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Road Gritting

From Martyn Fiveash

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Huddersfield local paper has reported that 200 roads in Calderdale will not be gritted this year. it seems Sandy Gate may be one of these as it is a death trap in the mornings with all the leaves accumulating on the sloping end that is joined to Birchcliffe Road by a blind turn. This week the ice on a road that is often wet, due to it being on quite a slope, has created a serious hazard for drivers, particularly early in the morning or late at night. This decision to stop gritting many of the roads has not been formally announced, residents have not been forewarned and, presumably, we are all paying the same Council taxes as those that are still being gritted.

Some explanation and a list of the roads affected would be useful. If this is a cost saving exercise, it is one that leaves local people, trying to get to work, in a seriously life-threatening situation. A serious accident is inevitable without the road being gritted. Surely, supplying a grit bin to this area would have been a compromise that at least gave the motorist some options when confronted by this hazard.

From Andy G

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Like Martyn - and all the residents of Sandy Gate and Walker Lane - I was dismayed when I heard of the decision to cease gritting these roads. However, I have just heard from Councillor Dave Young that due to the large number of complaints received, the council have decided to revert to the original gritting regime. Well done, Calderdale Council!

From Andy C

Friday, 1 December 2017

 "...the council have decided to revert to the original gritting regime." Have they? For Sandy Gate only or for everywhere? Not on their website they haven't. All I'm seeing on there is a policy that leaves virtually every road on the north facing side of the valley in Mytholmroyd marooned in black ice for the next three months. And we can see the unused grit mountains from here!

From Martyn Fiveash

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Today I have had a letter from our local MP, Craig Whittaker, regarding the lack of gritting on Calderdale's roads this winter. This is a standard letter, addressed to the Occupier, that is, presumably, being sent out to thousands of homes in the Calder Valley.

In it he blames Calderdale Council for overspending on the Piece Hall & Princess Buildings redevelopments, resulting in cuts to road gritting. 

Personally I would think that some of our Road Tax should be heading from Government to Local Councils to pay for gritting, along with the Council Tax the local Council receives.

It seems the local Council have scored an 'own goal' by choosing to put cost cutting ahead of the safety of local residents. I'd like to hear someone from the Council explain the logic behind this crazy policy but I'd prefer if they realised the stupidity of their decision and started gritting all the roads again. 


I understand Calderdale Council will be gritting all the roads they used to grit within the next seven days. I understand the problems came about after the Council took road gritting & highway maintenance back in-house and discovered the private contractor had gone considerably over budget. 

I am assured the Council will return gritting all the roads they used to grit within the next seven days. 

This should be a big relief to residents on Mytholm Steeps, Sandy Gate, Walker Lane, Moss Lane and all the other roads affected.

From Lesley Mackay

Saturday, 2 December 2017

But still not gritting for pedestrians, are they?  Nothing for St George's Square, beside the bus stops, access to the library the health centre, the post office.  Just think, for once, of those pedestrians who risk falling. Drivers have the luxury of being surrounded by a vehicle, pedestrians only too easily break bones.  

From Caroline M

Friday, 15 December 2017

I completely agree with Lesley - I understand costs are a huge problem right now, but this is a longstanding issue and is about looking out for everyone. 

I think the recent reassurances we were given are not very reassuring – we were told Palace House Road was back on the gritting route, but it seems that only a bit of the road now being gritted. The bit that isn’t being gritted is the steep bit - so people have been falling over on the steep ice rink that it was earlier today and has been pretty regularly recently.   The communication has not been great about what is and is not gritted, though you can work it out when you find yourself slipping over on black ice. 

There is a grit bin now though. Apparently, you only need to scatter a little so please go easy as it’s probably got to last…

Finally – there is no such thing as road tax and hasn’t been since the 1930s. Vehicle tax goes to general taxation like other taxes such as VAT and tax on cigarettes.  Winston Churchill, among others thought road tax a terrible idea.  Not disagreeing about more funds coming to local authorities though.        

From Mary Krell

Sunday, 17 December 2017

I'd just like to point out that Glen View Road (the convenient route that many use to access Burnley over the tops) has fallen off the gritting lists.

It was omitted from the list of roads to be dropped and only relegated to a, "secondary roads" list in subsequent information.

The road is exceptionally steep with 1:5 gradients at multiple points near houses and no pavements (but with a large number of school children and elderly folks living on the hill).

For the past two days the road has been sheet ice.

Communal gritting is not an option as with the gradient, limited visibility and lack of pavements, a pedestrian would literally be risking life in an exceptional way.

At least two school children fell injuring themselves en route to school (on exams day) and I witnessed a skidding car narrowly miss a child on Friday morning.

The council has gritted this road for decades. There is a clear precedence.

We did not receive the letter from Craig Whittaker. And if we had, an overspend on the Piece Hall does not warrant significant change to council procedures that result in major risk of injury or death.

My neighbours are saying they've not seen the hill this treacherous for over 20 years.

I'm not sure why I'm even posting though.
Who listens?

Who cares?

Great job announcing the piece hall and holding a tonne of festivals, Calderdale Council! Too bad people are getting injured and worse.

From Ruth F

Sunday, 17 December 2017

I know the council are apparently saying they are short of grit, but this is ridiculous.

I live in a small block of flats in Heptonstall owned by social housing landlord Together Housing (formerly Pennine).  The flats are only for older and disabled tenants.  There is a right of way through the grounds, a long path to the road, and we have outside steps to the first floor flats which get dangerously iced up.

This is my fifth winter here, and every previous winter we have had a grit bin, by the steps, topped up by the council for our use.  However, this year not only did they not top up our grit supply, but they actually came and took away the less than 1/3 binful we had left.  My neighbour, who is in her 70s, saw it happening and asked what we are to do about the path and steps, and was told we should go to B&Q and get our own grit.

Not one of our four households has a car, and none of us is capable of carrying a bag of grit on the buses. And we're a seriously long way from B&Q for older and disabled people.

I can only hope that the council is going to make very good use of that 1/3 of a binful of grit they confiscated from vulnerable social housing tenants!

From Tim M

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

What is this "overspend at the Piece Hall"? As I'm sure everyone except Craig Whittaker knows, the Piece Hall was transferred to a charitable trust.

I think the culprit here is Tory austerity. Calderdale are doing a brilliant job, compared to most against savage cuts, pushed by our extreme right wing government.

See also:

HebWeb News: Council responds to concerns on gritting (30 Nov)