Icy roads spark ‘no grit’ protests from angry residents

The ice-covered road at Muiravonside Cemetery.
The ice-covered road at Muiravonside Cemetery.

Falkirk side roads and footpaths haven’t been given any gritting treatment from the council despite two days of ice and frost, it’s being claimed.

Complaints include the claim that untreated side roads in Brightons are making it dangerous for people trying to walk to school with their children.

At Muiravonside cemetery Maddiston resident Carol Hardie witnessed a mobile home sliding downhill, apparently out of control - and feared she would be hit.

She said: “People visiting the cemetery are going to find it hard, because there is ice everywhere - I heard a woman saying ‘oh no!’ as the mobile home started to slide, and really feared the worst.

“I know the council is struggling for money but surely there should be more grit.”

One resident told the Falkirk Herald: “It’s black ice everywhere. Side roads haven’t been touched, so people can’t drive to get on the main roads - which are all the council are concentrating on.

“The elderly in my street aren’t able to leave their houses despite me spending 45 minutes myself last night trying to spread some grit - the whole situation is a farce.”

However the council has robustly defended its road gritting strategy.

A spokesman said: “Gritting crews have been out for the majority of the last 48 to 72 hours, prioritising strategic routes in and out of the area.

“In addition, they focus on main routes to important locations such as schools and hospitals before tackling lower level priorities such as residential areas.

“This is to ensure that vital supplies, etc, can continue to be delivered without disruption.

“Footways are also being prioritised and work is continuing on these across many areas.

“Many grit bins are located throughout the area and a map of their locations can be found on the council’s website as well as information about how we prioritise roads and footways.”

The council also stresses it keeps residents informed by regular updates online.

In one update this week it was stressed that gritting work on main routes (which began at 5am) would have to continue until these were made safe.

The gritting crews would then move to secondary and tertiary roads.

The authority’s updates also include forecasts for the next day, and it has issued guidelines for how residents can use grit bins - which can be found at http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/do-it-today/get-ready-for-winter/roads/grit-bins.aspx