Post-snow row breaks out over gritting

By Sarah Beard 17/02 Updated: 17/02 13:49

Buy photos » This was one of the scenes in Grange Lane, Alvechurch, last Friday morning (February 10).

A ROW has broken out over which rural routes were gritted and which were not following last Friday’s icy weather.

The police confirmed to The Standard they had to close icy village roads in areas, including Alvechurch and Tardebigge, during rush-hour while they waited for gritters to arrive.

A police spokesperson said there had been a number of crashes on Friday (February 10) on ungritted roads, involving cars skidding off lanes into hedges, ditches and grass-banks.

In one incident in Scarfield Hill, a woman was lucky to escape unhurt when the car she was driving slid into a telegraph pole, causing it to break in half. Officers shut the road so the pole could be recovered and also closed nearby Stoney Lane so it could be gritted.

A BT spokesperson said: “I can confirm a car hit our telegraph pole due to bad weather in the area.

“The pole was badly damaged and needed to be replaced.

“We attended the same day to make the pole safe for the general public.”

Other roads affected included Grange Lane and Coopers Hill in Alvechurch and it was reported gritters arrived in the area at around 11.30am.

One Alvechurch resident claimed to The Standard the council did not provide the area with grit bins after the lane was assessed in summer time when it was decided there was no call for them.

The same resident reported a three-week closure of Grange Lane, Alvechurch, last year after the council shut it due to the icy conditions. He even claimed the only time it was gritted was when a gritting lorry took a wrong turning down it, got stuck and had to use the grit to get out.

Jon Fraser, from Worcestershire County Council, said: “From the evening of last Thursday (February 9), the council’s team of gritters gritted the county’s 800 miles of primary routes three times during the night.

“This included Scarfield Hill and parts of Cooper’s Hill.

“On Friday morning Scarfield Hill was closed due to a BT telegraph pole falling across the road.

“The county’s grit bins had been refilled in preparation for the colder weather, several of these grit bins are placed throughout the Alvechurch area.”

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