Lancashire highways chief hits back in gritting row

MOVING Gritters out on the road

MOVING Gritters out on the road

First published in Hyndburn
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

LANCASHIRE County Council is reviewing the effectiveness of this week’s gritting of roads in East Lancashire.

And the council hit back at claims treatment of the area’s highways was inadequate during and after the snowfall on Monday.

Highways boss Tim Ashton produced figures which he said showed more roads in the East are routinely gritted than in the rest of the county during the winter.

He released the statistics after Barnoldswick county councillor David Whipp spearheaded a host of complaints over the treatment of icy highways in East Lancashire compared to South Lancashire, which comprises Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and Ormskirk areas.

Coun Whipp said: “What I am concerned about is not how much grit the county puts down in East Lancashire but how effective the gritting operation was on Monday in residential areas and what happens in future.

“I am still getting complaints about the state of our roads on Monday and Tuesday.

“The county’s own statistics admit that our topography and weather is worse than the West and South of the county. On Monday they should have shifted gritters from low-lying areas round Preston, where they were not needed, to East Lancashire where they were.”

The county figures show:

  • 71 per cent of all roads in the East are on the gritting network, versus 41 per cent of all roads in the South.
  • 43 per cent of all roads in the East are priority routes, compared with 31 per cent of all roads in the South.
  • 28 per cent of all roads in the East are on secondary routes, compared with 10 per cent in the South.

Highways manager Duncan Reeve said: “During severe weather we run a 24-hour service that constantly reviews the situation and responds to conditions on the ground.

“For example, last weekend as well as treating primary and secondary routes, our crews treated other roads across East Lancashire that were causing problems for local people.

“At the end of every winter we review our activities and take into account all of the feedback we have received.

“Typically winters in East Lancashire are more severe than the rest of the county which is why we have more resources here. Last weekend we had 26 vehicles out in the eastern area, compared with 14 in the south of the county, putting down nearly twice as much salt.”

County highways cabinet member Tim Ashton said: “The claim that we chose to treat more roads in the South than in the East is simply wrong.

“We do all we can to keep traffic moving on the main routes across the county, and our crews worked flat-out to treat priority and secondary routes in all affected areas last weekend.”

Coun Ashton said he called in contractors to clear all secondary highways in East Lancs on Monday and Tuesday after county gritters had treated primary routes, and that some roads not on the normal gritting network were also treated.

Comments (27)

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3:13pm Wed 30 Jan 13

petestan says...

Sounds like excuses to me.

Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons.
If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.
Sounds like excuses to me. Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons. If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it. petestan
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Wed 30 Jan 13

kate11 says...

So Coun Ashton what about liasing with local councils to stop them sending road sweepers out directly after it had been gritted just because they say they have to after a green bin collection!! This was seen in the Higher Reedley area and also in the Foulridge area.. The Foulridge roads were covered in snow and ice at the time!! Phone calls to the councils in question did not achieve any common sense replies!! You also state that some roads not normally on the gritting route were gritted! Is this because you had been contacted by residents to ask that they be done? !! I think yes!
So Coun Ashton what about liasing with local councils to stop them sending road sweepers out directly after it had been gritted just because they say they have to after a green bin collection!! This was seen in the Higher Reedley area and also in the Foulridge area.. The Foulridge roads were covered in snow and ice at the time!! Phone calls to the councils in question did not achieve any common sense replies!! You also state that some roads not normally on the gritting route were gritted! Is this because you had been contacted by residents to ask that they be done? !! I think yes! kate11
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Wed 30 Jan 13

richard a says...

Percentages hide the real figures. It's possible to have a higher percentage of roads gritted here but still have less roads gritted. It's all proportional to the number of roads in the first place.
I'm not saying he's not telling the truth but he's not using the best figures to defend himself
Percentages hide the real figures. It's possible to have a higher percentage of roads gritted here but still have less roads gritted. It's all proportional to the number of roads in the first place. I'm not saying he's not telling the truth but he's not using the best figures to defend himself richard a
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Wed 30 Jan 13

chris283 says...

what a load of tosh do they think were stupid i have seen a few gritters coming down my street but are they gritting no they just drive pass making out they are gritting hahahahah
what a load of tosh do they think were stupid i have seen a few gritters coming down my street but are they gritting no they just drive pass making out they are gritting hahahahah chris283
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Wed 30 Jan 13

mys says...

For gods sake they can't win, this year has been brilliant for gritting our road compared to previous years and I live on a bus route, instead of moaning about it if everyone that lives on a side street( which the grittier proberly can't get up) bought a bag of grit then there road would be clear, that's what they do on my sons street..
For gods sake they can't win, this year has been brilliant for gritting our road compared to previous years and I live on a bus route, instead of moaning about it if everyone that lives on a side street( which the grittier proberly can't get up) bought a bag of grit then there road would be clear, that's what they do on my sons street.. mys
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Wed 30 Jan 13

travel happy wanderer says...

They sent a JCB with front bucket on past our house but no grit and it left road like a ice ring. And what good is 7.5 grams/m2 for precautionary treatment and up to 40 grams/m2 on deep snow, I put more than that on road outside my house, It is time it went back to local council there worker's knew local roads we had no bother before, So Coun Ashton get your finger out and sort it.
They sent a JCB with front bucket on past our house but no grit and it left road like a ice ring. And what good is 7.5 grams/m2 for precautionary treatment and up to 40 grams/m2 on deep snow, I put more than that on road outside my house, It is time it went back to local council there worker's knew local roads we had no bother before, So Coun Ashton get your finger out and sort it. travel happy wanderer
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Pendlesider says...

quote “At the end of every winter we review our activities and take into account all of the feedback we have received."
.
well heree's some feedback for all the numpties at Preston town hall...
the fact is the forecast was for heavy snow early hours monday so many secondary routes in Pendle were missed out (including bus routes).
.
county winter services? don't make me laugh, there an absolute waste of space here in Pendle which is why gritting should be the responsibility of Pendle borough council, not some county hall in preston who's priorities are clearly NOT the borough of pendle.
.
once again lancashire county council got it wrong yet are obviously living in cloud cuckoo land in they think the gritting was 'adequate'... it wasn't, it was WOEFUL!
quote “At the end of every winter we review our activities and take into account all of the feedback we have received." . well heree's some feedback for all the numpties at Preston town hall... the fact is the forecast was for heavy snow early hours monday so many secondary routes in Pendle were missed out (including bus routes). . county winter services? don't make me laugh, there an absolute waste of space here in Pendle which is why gritting should be the responsibility of Pendle borough council, not some county hall in preston who's priorities are clearly NOT the borough of pendle. . once again lancashire county council got it wrong yet are obviously living in cloud cuckoo land in they think the gritting was 'adequate'... it wasn't, it was WOEFUL! Pendlesider
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Wed 30 Jan 13

bronsky says...

I have just come back from Scotland and the roads have all been well gritted but on arriving back in east lancs the roads are nothing but a disgrace,it makes you wonder what we pay council tax for its always the same our local council are useless.
I have just come back from Scotland and the roads have all been well gritted but on arriving back in east lancs the roads are nothing but a disgrace,it makes you wonder what we pay council tax for its always the same our local council are useless. bronsky
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Wed 30 Jan 13

stigofthedump says...

Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.
Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council. stigofthedump
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Yorkshire Dave from gods county says...

stigofthedump wrote:
Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.
Well said that man
[quote][p][bold]stigofthedump[/bold] wrote: Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.[/p][/quote]Well said that man Yorkshire Dave from gods county
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Wed 30 Jan 13

hasslem hasslem says...

can't satisfy everybody - but i live on pendle hill and we have had snowfalls - but the gritters have been out on the main routes on a regular basis - and me and a neighbour cleared our side road (around 100yds with a bit of grit from the bins) in around 90mins to connect with the through roads - no problem.

seems to me some people were born to moan - - you can help yourself you know.....get yourself a snow shovel wilkys sell them for less than £5 and a bag of grit costs buttons.
can't satisfy everybody - but i live on pendle hill and we have had snowfalls - but the gritters have been out on the main routes on a regular basis - and me and a neighbour cleared our side road (around 100yds with a bit of grit from the bins) in around 90mins to connect with the through roads - no problem. seems to me some people were born to moan - - you can help yourself you know.....get yourself a snow shovel wilkys sell them for less than £5 and a bag of grit costs buttons. hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Sajdin says...

What a joke, the LCC did a good job and much better then previous years.

You can't expect them to grit every single road, can you? Dont be idiotic !
What a joke, the LCC did a good job and much better then previous years. You can't expect them to grit every single road, can you? Dont be idiotic ! Sajdin
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Wed 30 Jan 13

ste.g says...

gritter wet down a road in langho around 9 am.
9.20am along came a road sweeper and collected it all up.
so it with my own eyes
gritter wet down a road in langho around 9 am. 9.20am along came a road sweeper and collected it all up. so it with my own eyes ste.g
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Wed 30 Jan 13

psch says...

I travelled extensively over the period by roads and can say that the gritting in Lancashire was one of the worst areas. There was a quantum shift in effectiveness in going into West Yorkshire and on Friday I easily got over Shap to be held up when I got over the border from Cumbria into Lancashire, perhaps they should spend less on silly 20 mph schemes and concentrate on the basics
I travelled extensively over the period by roads and can say that the gritting in Lancashire was one of the worst areas. There was a quantum shift in effectiveness in going into West Yorkshire and on Friday I easily got over Shap to be held up when I got over the border from Cumbria into Lancashire, perhaps they should spend less on silly 20 mph schemes and concentrate on the basics psch
  • Score: 0

8:57pm Wed 30 Jan 13

nmclean77 says...

So, the council are not only reducing the quantity of grit used, but also the quality of grit used - this latest stuff seems to be mixed with sand, which to be frank, is pretty useless!
So, the council are not only reducing the quantity of grit used, but also the quality of grit used - this latest stuff seems to be mixed with sand, which to be frank, is pretty useless! nmclean77
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Wed 30 Jan 13

lostforwords says...

What a bunch of whinngers. Get off your backside and clear some of the snow yourself. Salts about £4-50 for 20kg buy a bag and spread a bit about.
What a bunch of whinngers. Get off your backside and clear some of the snow yourself. Salts about £4-50 for 20kg buy a bag and spread a bit about. lostforwords
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Wed 30 Jan 13

psch says...

I travelled extensively over the period by roads and can say that the gritting in Lancashire was one of the worst areas. There was a quantum shift in effectiveness in going into West Yorkshire and on Friday I easily got over Shap to be held up when I got over the border from Cumbria into Lancashire, perhaps they should spend less on silly 20 mph schemes and concentrate on the basics
I travelled extensively over the period by roads and can say that the gritting in Lancashire was one of the worst areas. There was a quantum shift in effectiveness in going into West Yorkshire and on Friday I easily got over Shap to be held up when I got over the border from Cumbria into Lancashire, perhaps they should spend less on silly 20 mph schemes and concentrate on the basics psch
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Wed 30 Jan 13

bly247 says...

petestan wrote:
Sounds like excuses to me.

Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons.
If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.
get real, these driver's aren't sat around waiting for it to freeze again - how about driver's hours?? How about the fact that the plough blades need to be changed once worn??
[quote][p][bold]petestan[/bold] wrote: Sounds like excuses to me. Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons. If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.[/p][/quote]get real, these driver's aren't sat around waiting for it to freeze again - how about driver's hours?? How about the fact that the plough blades need to be changed once worn?? bly247
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Wed 30 Jan 13

bly247 says...

chris283 wrote:
what a load of tosh do they think were stupid i have seen a few gritters coming down my street but are they gritting no they just drive pass making out they are gritting hahahahah
really??? drive past your street pretending to grit?? how about they are driving past to get to the start of their route? gritters aren't just sent out randomly, routes are planned. If every gritter started gritting as soon as it left the depot say at burnley, by the time it got to say Colne it would have no grit left!
[quote][p][bold]chris283[/bold] wrote: what a load of tosh do they think were stupid i have seen a few gritters coming down my street but are they gritting no they just drive pass making out they are gritting hahahahah[/p][/quote]really??? drive past your street pretending to grit?? how about they are driving past to get to the start of their route? gritters aren't just sent out randomly, routes are planned. If every gritter started gritting as soon as it left the depot say at burnley, by the time it got to say Colne it would have no grit left! bly247
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Wed 30 Jan 13

clickhere says...

stigofthedump wrote:
Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.
Quite right that man! There has been a huge improvement in both salt spreading and replenishing the grit boxes on the side streets in Great Harwood so far this winter, compared to previous winters. 10 out of ten from me!
And I'm no great fan of Tim Ashton, whose performance in other areas of transport are pretty abysmal.
[quote][p][bold]stigofthedump[/bold] wrote: Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.[/p][/quote]Quite right that man! There has been a huge improvement in both salt spreading and replenishing the grit boxes on the side streets in Great Harwood so far this winter, compared to previous winters. 10 out of ten from me! And I'm no great fan of Tim Ashton, whose performance in other areas of transport are pretty abysmal. clickhere
  • Score: 0

10:54pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Sajdin says...

If you think LCC did bad, ask the residents of Blackburn with Darwen Council, who opted out of LCC gritting and it took it on themselves and made it a mess !

Stop moaning....
If you think LCC did bad, ask the residents of Blackburn with Darwen Council, who opted out of LCC gritting and it took it on themselves and made it a mess ! Stop moaning.... Sajdin
  • Score: 0

11:20pm Wed 30 Jan 13

petestan says...

bly247 wrote:
petestan wrote:
Sounds like excuses to me.

Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons.
If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.
get real, these driver's aren't sat around waiting for it to freeze again - how about driver's hours?? How about the fact that the plough blades need to be changed once worn??
So they only have enough driver's for one shift?

How about they have more than 1 driver to a vehicle to make themselves more efficient but oh no then the driver's would be all upset as they are effectively their own vehicle.
As for the precious plough blades need changing, well that's called wear and tear and they only need changing IF they actually use the blades. If they only use grit on the main roads, which they should only have to, then the plough's are hardly ever used anyway so why not use them to clear the side roads, I'm not asking them to use their precious grit that is only for use on selected roads just the plough.

I used to work in Settle and you could always tell where the border was because you could guarantee the Yorkshire roads were clear and well gritted whereas on the Lancs. side they had not been touched.
[quote][p][bold]bly247[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]petestan[/bold] wrote: Sounds like excuses to me. Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons. If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.[/p][/quote]get real, these driver's aren't sat around waiting for it to freeze again - how about driver's hours?? How about the fact that the plough blades need to be changed once worn??[/p][/quote]So they only have enough driver's for one shift? How about they have more than 1 driver to a vehicle to make themselves more efficient but oh no then the driver's would be all upset as they are effectively their own vehicle. As for the precious plough blades need changing, well that's called wear and tear and they only need changing IF they actually use the blades. If they only use grit on the main roads, which they should only have to, then the plough's are hardly ever used anyway so why not use them to clear the side roads, I'm not asking them to use their precious grit that is only for use on selected roads just the plough. I used to work in Settle and you could always tell where the border was because you could guarantee the Yorkshire roads were clear and well gritted whereas on the Lancs. side they had not been touched. petestan
  • Score: 0

12:01am Thu 31 Jan 13

oracle999 says...

bly247 wrote:
petestan wrote:
Sounds like excuses to me.

Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons.
If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.
get real, these driver's aren't sat around waiting for it to freeze again - how about driver's hours?? How about the fact that the plough blades need to be changed once worn??
Gritters are exempt from EC tacho rules just for the record
[quote][p][bold]bly247[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]petestan[/bold] wrote: Sounds like excuses to me. Anyway why can't they send the gritters round the side roads once they have gritted all the main roads and secondary routes and are sat around waiting for it to freeze again, even if they just clear the snow with the ploughs fitted to the front of the wagons. If they don't want to actually grit them just clearing the snow would make life easier for residents and there would be more chance of the snow actually melting rather than staying for days and weeks like it usually does except for the grooves where the cars clear it.[/p][/quote]get real, these driver's aren't sat around waiting for it to freeze again - how about driver's hours?? How about the fact that the plough blades need to be changed once worn??[/p][/quote]Gritters are exempt from EC tacho rules just for the record oracle999
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Thu 31 Jan 13

i.s. says...

Have to say that Colne is usually pretty treacherous in wintry conditions but this year the LCC did an exceptional job keeping the main roads clear. the side roads were pretty bad but all it takes is a bit of common sense and a shovel. Stop winging!,
Have to say that Colne is usually pretty treacherous in wintry conditions but this year the LCC did an exceptional job keeping the main roads clear. the side roads were pretty bad but all it takes is a bit of common sense and a shovel. Stop winging!, i.s.
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Thu 31 Jan 13

kate11 says...

It is ok everyone saying get a shovel and clear it yourselves but when most people in the area are elderly this can be difficult! I tried to do this myself where I live but there was not enough grit left in the box and when I had put a little grit down the road sweeper came round directly after and swept it all up!!
It is ok everyone saying get a shovel and clear it yourselves but when most people in the area are elderly this can be difficult! I tried to do this myself where I live but there was not enough grit left in the box and when I had put a little grit down the road sweeper came round directly after and swept it all up!! kate11
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Thu 31 Jan 13

petestan says...

i.s. wrote:
Have to say that Colne is usually pretty treacherous in wintry conditions but this year the LCC did an exceptional job keeping the main roads clear. the side roads were pretty bad but all it takes is a bit of common sense and a shovel. Stop winging!,
I would say the council even clear the pavement in the shopping area BUT don't touch the road and pavements on High Street where the OAP flats are effectively leaving them trapped for days on end yet it's 100 yards off the shopping area. They can't go clearing it themselves.
[quote][p][bold]i.s.[/bold] wrote: Have to say that Colne is usually pretty treacherous in wintry conditions but this year the LCC did an exceptional job keeping the main roads clear. the side roads were pretty bad but all it takes is a bit of common sense and a shovel. Stop winging!,[/p][/quote]I would say the council even clear the pavement in the shopping area BUT don't touch the road and pavements on High Street where the OAP flats are effectively leaving them trapped for days on end yet it's 100 yards off the shopping area. They can't go clearing it themselves. petestan
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Tue 5 Feb 13

ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123 says...

stigofthedump wrote:
Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.
i lived all over Europe for 17 yearsHolland/Germany
/France etc and roads and pavements were all cleared of snow,so shut up about places you know nothing about..
[quote][p][bold]stigofthedump[/bold] wrote: Moan moan moan. Put some winter tyres on. Buy a shovel and get on with it like the rest of Europe instead of moaning about the council.[/p][/quote]i lived all over Europe for 17 yearsHolland/Germany /France etc and roads and pavements were all cleared of snow,so shut up about places you know nothing about.. ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123
  • Score: 0

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