BARNOLDSWICK: Traders’ frustration over gritting
As THE snow of the festive period melts away, some councillors, traders and residents in West Craven have been left frustrated by what they say is another year of inadequate preparations for the wintry weather.
Coun. Jenny Purcell said she thought roads across the border in North Yorkshire had been treated much more effectively.
She said: “We put proper rock salt down on our driveway and it’s been perfectly clear the whole time, as did our neighbours and theirs is the same. I had to go into Nelson and Burnley and then back to Skipton. The roads were atrocious all the way to Burnley but clear in Skipton.
“We need to work as a team; if the parks’ department can’t do as much of their normal work, they can help grit paths. Tax payers’ money should be spent on getting proper rock salt down. Every year it’s the same and we seem to be going backwards rather than forwards.
“I suggest we get somebody over from Austria or Switzerland to show us how it is done.”
Brenda Thornton, who lives in Taylor Street, Barnoldswick, has to use a mobility scooter to leave the house and get into her car. She said the icy pavement made it impossible for her to venture out.
She said: “It was such a problem. I was trapped for three days in my house and in the end I had to leave because I absolutely had to get to the shops.”
Colin Badminton, public realm manager for Pendle said all the roads there had been complaints about had been gritted but extremely low temperatures had rendered grit less effective at preventing icing.
He said: “The science of gritting is very simple; water added to salt creates brine which freezes at a lower temperature than water alone. However even brine freezes once the temperatures reach minus 10.
“The general picture is that traffic was able to travel with care on the main routes.
“The main routes had been gritted before the snow fell and have been ploughed and gritted afterwards.”
Stephanie Clarke, owner of Whichcrafts in Church Street, Barnoldswick, and secretary of Barnoldswick and West Craven Chamber of Trade said: “The general opinion I have heard is that the council hasn’t done the best it could have done.
“They kept their promise in keeping the bins full but the town centre and main car parks were really bad. There are a lot of niche businesses in the town that were affected as people couldn’t get down to them in what should have been their busiest week. On the other hand, the weather stopped people travelling out of town to the big stores.”
Coun David Whipp said: “Indignation has turned to resignation. Although we have had some minor victories in terms of additional streets being done, it is still too few for the need.”
Coun. Glenn Whittaker returned from Gargrave to Barnoldswick following heavy snow and said he was amazed at the difference between the two counties. He said: “I couldn’t believe the difference; people were sliding all over the place and I didn’t want to stop for fear I wouldn’t get going again. How can one council have the roads clear and one not? I am not impressed and it needs sorting for next time.
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Weather for Pendle
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 6 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North west