Concern grows over council’s grit routes

CONCERNS have been raised about whether important roads in Heanor will gritted this year.

Heanor and Loscoe Town Council says it is worried Derbyshire County Council’s winter gritting programme might mean some roads in the town go ungritted.

Town councillor Alan Longdon has issued a statement slamming the county council’s plans to change the county’s gritting routes, fearing that some Heanor roads will be neglected.

The county council, which deals with gritting across the county, plans to classify some stretches of road as ‘secondary networks’. This means they would be only be treated during the day with the first run being completed by mid-morning. ‘Primary network’ roads would still receive round-the-clock gritting.

Cllr Longdon said: “A lot of people on estate roads and side roads will be stranded, because no-one will be able to reach them.

“If you do not live on a primary route, how are you going to get to work in the morning? How will nurses reach you if you are vulnerable?”

The county council is consulting with Derbyshire residents about its proposals to shake up its gritting routes in icy condition. Under its proposals certain roads, such as village routes and industrial streets would also be classed as ‘tertiary’ networks and would be included in less frequent gritting cycles.

Derbyshire councillor Simon Spencer defended the authority’s plans, saying: “We can’t do it all. We need local people, parish and town councils, farmers and contractors to support our gritting operation.”

Last month, Amber Valley Borough Council announced it was to take over gritting a network of side streets in the borough. However it is proposing to reduce the number of on-street grit bins available for residents to use on roads and pavements themselves after too many used it on private driveways last winter, it said.

Amber Valley councillor Ron Ashton said: “If the adverse winter conditions come back then Amber Valley will look into stepping up its role in keeping side streets clear.”