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Letter: Lack of gritting is irresponsible cost-cutting

Gritter in action at Halifax
Gritter in action at Halifax

I write with regard to the council’s decision not to grit certain roads in the Calderdale area and in particular Norland.

I feel that in making this decision the officers concerned cannot have any idea of the topography, narrowness and state of the roads concerned. It is either that or they were very badly informed. They cannot be aware that water from the fields and moorland runs constantly down the roads, drains get blocked and it is like a river which then freezes over into sheet ice.

With only a couple of frosty mornings and still in autumn’s last days we have had injuries from people slipping and three cars skidding into properties that I am aware of. When we complain we are told that the decision will not be reviewed until March, by then how many will have to suffer injuries, damage and possible fatal accidents?

There is no bus service in the centre of Norland, just one every two hours on the outskirts. This means that senior school children have to be driven to schools on ungritted roads. We do have Norland Junior and Infant School and here again parents will be using roads which are un-gritted.

Are the lives of children and parents unimportant?

There is a large hotel/bar and restaurant where safe road access is paramount. Numerous business patrons stay there when visiting the business community of Calderdale. They are paying business rates well into the tens of thousands for a very inferior service.

There are numerous local residents who have various medical conditions which require daily nursing and delivery of life maintaining medical treatments and medicines. By having this home care, which although convenient for them, frees up beds at Calderdale Royal Hospital. Without good gritted roads, lives of these people could be put at risk if carers and deliveries cannot reach them.

Roads through Norland form a rat run for numerous cars to avoid the chaos of traffic queues in Sowerby Bridge. Since the New Road providing access to Copley Industrial Estate has opened traffic through Norland has increased dramatically, to well over 100 cars during rush hour times. Fall Lane with an 1:8 gradient leading to Mearclough Council Recycling Unit is not to be gritted.

No one in their right mind would not grit a well used 1:8 gradient road!

Norland roads not to be gritted include:- Hob Lane, Harper Royd Lane, Sparkhouse Lane, Fall Lane, Sowerby Croft Lane, London Road, Pickwood Scar, Berry Moor Road, Norland Town Road and many more.

Some residents in Norland have 4x4 vehicles to ease driving in bad weather - but stopping them is a different matter! When a vehicle starts to slide on ice, who knows where it will end up? What damage will be caused and who may be injured or worse in the process.

This is irresponsible budgeting and cost-cutting and the council should have a more responsible ‘duty of care’ to Calderdale residents.