'Disgraceful' shortage of grit bins 'putting safety at risk' in Sheffield

A nurse has branded the shortage of grit bins to help people deal with snow and ice on their streets a 'disgrace'.

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 10:40 am
Kirkdale Crescent, in Handsworth, on Monday evening

The snowfall and freezing temperatures left Kirkdale Crescent, in Handsworth, in a treacherous condition, as this photo shows.

Ian Fairbrother, who lives on that street, said he was horrified by the lack of a grit bin which residents could use to help reduce the risk to drivers and pedestrians.

"The road's in a highly dangerous condition but there's no grit bin and I believe the closest one is around 10 minutes away on the Flockton estate, which is too far," said the 40-year-old nurse, who has two children.

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"I understand the council gritted the main roads but there are a lot of side streets that need doing because people have to get to work.

"There are elderly residents on this street who depend upon carers visiting a couple of times a day, but those carers are struggling to get up this road.

"Personally, I think it's a disgrace and the council should be responsible as it's a health and safety hazard."

Mr Fairbrother said he had reported his concerns to his local councillors on Monday evening but had yet to hear back.

Sheffield Council claims to have more than 2,000 grit bins for members of the public to use, and it staged a winter roadshow last month to advise people how to keep themselves and neighbours safe as temperatures plummet.

The council urged people at the time to check their nearest grit bin regularly and get in touch if it needed refilling, to ensure there is always plenty available to help keep residential roads and pavements clear.

The council has said its Streets Ahead fleet is responsible for gritting more than 600 miles of urban and rural roads across the city, with a greater percentage covered here than by other local authorities.

A Streets Ahead spokeswoman said: "There are over 2,000 grit bins across the city and the online map on the council’s website will help you find the nearest one to you. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide grit bins on all roads across the city. However, we have tried, using set criteria, to have a good spread of grit bins across the city for all members of the public to use.

"Requests for additional grit bins and road gritting routes will be considered and reviewed as part of the winter maintenance review carried out in spring 2018."

The council added that it treats around 70 per cent of the city's road network and had used around 1,929 tonnes of salt so far this winter.