'Prisoners' of the big freeze in our homes

PUBLISHED: 09:36 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 11 May 2010

BACK TO NORMAL: But Curlew Crescent posed dangerous problems in last week's ice and snow, says one resident.

BACK TO NORMAL: But Curlew Crescent posed dangerous problems in last week's ice and snow, says one resident.

THE LACK of gritting on roads in Royston during last week s cold spell rendered people prisoners in their own homes , says a resident. Simon Ladd, of Curlew Crescent, Royston, has hit out at the way the Highways Department allocated gritting lorries, aft

THE LACK of gritting on roads in Royston during last week's cold spell rendered people "prisoners in their own homes", says a resident.

Simon Ladd, of Curlew Crescent, Royston, has hit out at the way the Highways Department allocated gritting lorries, after seeing his elderly mother narrowly avoid an accident in the icy conditions.

He said: "My mother was coming home from Addenbrooke's Hospital last Monday, so I was waiting outside for her.

"The ambulance came down the road, and skidded on the ice.

"The driver almost lost it, and only just managed to retain control.

"What would have happened if it was travelling at a higher speed on the way to an emergency?"

Mr Ladd was also disappointed by the response he got when he contacted Hertfordshire County Council to express his concern.

"I was given a standard response about 'priority' routes, such as bus routes, being gritted," he said.

"That's all very well, but what's the point of the bus route being ok if you can't even get to the bus stop?

"Curlew Crescent is on a slight hill, so it was almost impossible to get out of the road without slipping on the ice.

"People were virtually prisoners in their own homes."

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Highways said: "Curlew Crescent is not included on the priority salting routes as it is a close and does not fulfil the criteria for pre-salted or post-salted action.

"However, we can consider installation of a salt bin for 'self help' in this road.

"The local area engineer is also assessing Fieldfare Way to establish if this road section is served by a scheduled bus route, in which case it may qualify for pre-salting."

The spokesman added that 42 per cent of Hertfordshire's road network was gritted, but that these did not normally include individual residential roads unless they "form part of the strategic network".

He said: "Gritting our roads is an enormous and complex exercise, and unfortunately, it is simply not feasible to include every single road in the county.

"However, Hertfordshire Highways does respond to reports concerning individual problem areas once all the main routes have been dealt with.

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