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Councillors get a grip on slippery roads

Wednesday, 27th January 2010.

Councillors have agreed to start providing grit bins in a bid to stop cars and pedestrians sliding around again in future big freezes.

Haverhill Town Council received various approaches from residents of streets in Haverhill which had been reduced to ice rinks in the recent cold weather.

Suffolk County Council's policy is only to grit what they call priority one routes - main roads, bus routes and particularly busy roads.

Minor roads were left untreated and resulted in considerable difficulties for residents.

Members of the town council's community first committee meeting last night were told residents of Orchard Close, mostly elderly, were trapped in their homes for five days because of the slippery conditions.

The county council gas said it will fill grit bins, but not provide grit heaps.

The bins cost around 120 each and have to be sited carefully to avoid the risk of theft.

But councillors agreed they should provide them where needed, and decided to begin with five specific areas which had been brought to their notice - Orchard Close, Meadowlands, Seymour Drive, Falklands Road and the entrance to the Darzi clinic off Withersfield Road.

Other sites might in future be brought to their attention and could then be considered. Members also heard there had been some positive response to the idea of residents making a contribution towards the cost of the bins.

Cllr Maureen Byrne said they ought also to try to put pressure on the county council to grit minor roads.

Town clerk Gordon Mussett told members he would be attending a workshop meeting being held by the county council for representatives from across Suffolk to examine what lessons could be learned from how they dealt with the bad weather.

Called The Big Freeze Workshop, it would bring together people's experiences and Mr Mussett suggested the lack of gritting of minor roads might be a common theme.

Haverhill Online News

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