Winter gritting programme defended after drivers moan

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The county council has defended its winter gritting programme following a spate of accidents over Christmas and New Year.

Ten thousand tonnes of grit were spread on county roads over the holidays, but the council has been hit by a wave of residents’ complaints berating the state of the roads and claims that many roads were going untreated.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council said that ‘freezing rain’ was to blame for treacherous road conditions.

Wet weather conditions on the Sunday evening washed away grit from treated roads – that left them requiring re-treatment, leaving a two-hour window where the roads were left without grit.

Richard Fenwick, from the winter maintenance team, said: “During the winter we monitor the weather around the clock so we’re ready to take action whenever necessary.

“We treat all major traffic routes and A and B roads, amounting to around 2,000 miles of highway.

“A treated link is provided from each main village to each major traffic route and every primary and secondary school has a salted route which goes at least within 500 metres of its entrance.

“Where possible, a treated link is also provided to within 500 metres of all main NHS hospitals and all train and bus stations.

“Like every other authority in the country we’d love to grit every single road, but it’s simply not possible.

“Our team were out at 7pm that Sunday to treat the roads in light of the freezing temperatures that were expected. Unfortunately, there was some rain overnight, which appears to have affected certain areas.

“In light of this, our teams went out and gritted all these routes again between 7am and 8am the following morning.

“However, people should remember that although salt is a big help it isn’t a complete cure.

“Even gritted roads can be treacherous and drivers will need to take care when out in freezing temperatures.”

• Tell us what you think about gritting. Were you affected by icy roads? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk