‘Ice rink’ roads in Royston needs gritting upgrade - campaigner

Some of the new fleet of gritters at Cambridge County Council's Witchford depot

Some of the new fleet of gritters at Cambridge County Council's Witchford depot - Credit: Archant

A ROAD which turned into an “ice rink” during freezing conditions should be upgraded to a priority gritting route, according to a campaigner.

Terry Hutt, of the Royston Pensioners Action Group, wants to see Burns Road in Royston changed to ‘red’ gritting status so it is treated as a precaution before freezing occurs. Presently it is classified as a ‘blue’ route, which is gritted after a spell of cold weather, but Mr Hutt believes the proximity of Roysia and Roman Way schools means it should be upgraded.

He said: “On Monday it turned into an ice rink outside the schools. The cars were sliding towards pedestrians on the pavement, and cars couldn’t make it up the hill towards the Coombes Community Centre. My daughter walked carefully round the back of the car and slipped and fell in the road.”

With more freezing weather forecast for the coming days, Mr Hutt, whose grandchildren attend Roman Way School, has written to Royston MP Oliver Heald to ask for his assistance.

“Burns Road has two schools and is a bus route. We urgently need it to be upgraded,” he said. “It is so dangerous for pensioners or mums carrying babies.”

Headteacher at Roman Way First School Emma Edwards said: “The school was open for business as usual on Monday. A few parents voiced concerns about the fact that Burns Road isn’t gritted, which we have raised with the council and they will be reviewing the route that the gritters take for next year.”

A Roysia School spokesman confirmed they had also reported the situation to Hertfordshire Highways.

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“There were quite a few problems out there. Cars were sliding about all over the place, it was very dangerous,” she said.

Stuart Pile, cabinet member for highways and transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We are aware of local concerns that Burns Road is not on our priority route. We review our salting routes every year and we will look into reviewing Burns Road against the priority criteria for next winter.

“When the weather is particularly bad, as it was on Monday, our focus has to be on keeping main roads moving, which is a massive task. In the space of 24 hours on Monday, four salting runs were carried out on our priority route – that’s the equivalent of travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again four times.

“Extensive information about our winter service – including which roads we salt and why, as well as advice on driving in wintry conditions – is available on www.hertsdirect.org/salting”

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