GRITTING: No route cuts in Sheffield this year after council gritting U-turn

Heavy snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield, as Britain was due to be hit by a week of snow and freezing temperatures as the country's "yo-yo" weather continues. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 29, 2015. The North will be worst hit with "thundersnow storms" striking, while snowfalls of up to 15cm are predicted tonight. See PA story WEATHER Cold. Photo credit should read: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

Heavy snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield, as Britain was due to be hit by a week of snow and freezing temperatures as the country's "yo-yo" weather continues. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 29, 2015. The North will be worst hit with "thundersnow storms" striking, while snowfalls of up to 15cm are predicted tonight. See PA story WEATHER Cold. Photo credit should read: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

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Further cuts to gritting in Sheffield will not be made this year after a U-turn on the last controversial changes.

The number of priority two roads gritted as a precaution were reduced by nearly 100 miles to save £100,000 in 2014.

But Sheffield Council was forced to reverse the cut after dozens of drivers crashed on icy roads on a single weekend in December, sparking concerns ‘someone would die.’

Cars had skidded on black ice and through walls, while some had to be abandoned.

Even a gritter sent out to the Mayfield Valley, one of the rural areas that was worst affected, overturned.

Now it has been confirmed that there will be no reduction this year, and that extra roads added to the gritting network will also remain in place, the latter at a cost of £17,435 per year.

Around 158 grit bins that are on current priority two routes will be relocated to areas which are not gritted and meet certain criteria - costing £10,000.

And an extra 100 snow shovels will be provided by council contractor Amey to Sheffield volunteers who help their communities during cold snaps, at a cost of £1,000 per year.

Coun Terry Fox, cabinet member for environment, told a cabinet highways decision meeting that Amey’s Streets Ahead team provided a ‘valuable winter service’.

He added: “This year, we also need the great Sheffield public to play their part. We need them all to prepare themselves for the wintry weather.

“If it does snow then we need the public to help clear pavements of snow and ice in their communities. If everyone who was able to cleared the pavement outside their homes and supported their elderly or vulnerable neighbours, then we can all manage better this winter.”

Amey staff are also ‘exploring the opportunity’ of showing where in Sheffield gritters have been with an online map, with an expected real time delay of around ten minutes.

Reports to the meeting said it was recommended further cuts were not made because resident safety was of ‘great importance.’

“Reports in December 2014 showed the public were either not aware of changes to the gritting network, or not driving in accordance with the prevailing conditions on those roads which were previously gritted”, said the document.

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