Safety fears over Sheffield gritting cuts

Gritters at the Olive Grove Road depot
Gritters at the Olive Grove Road depot
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Residents’ safety could be put ‘at risk’ by plans to reduce the number of Sheffield roads which are gritted before snow, councillors fear.

The proposals to grit 100 fewer miles of road are currently out to public consultation.

But opposition councillors have put forward a motion saying the changes could leave elderly people trapped at home and affect residents’ safety. They will call for the plans to go at Sheffield Council’s meeting tomorrow.

Coun Joe Otten, Liberal Democrat spokesman for highways, said there were alternative ways to find the savings.

Urging Labour councillors to also fight the plans, he said: “Local people are naturally concerned about the safety implications of these changes, which will see many rural communities abandoned and key routes in the west of the city inaccessible.”

Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has also written to the council calling for more consultation.

He pointed out frequently-used roads, such as Hangingwater Road in Nether Green and Highcliffe Road at Greystones, which were in the list of those to lose gritting, were ‘precarious’ even in good conditions. And he said many routes facing the axe were the only routes between communities.

He added: “I fear not treating these roads could lead to serious accidents which otherwise could have been avoided.”

Just 24 people attended two Town Hall public consultation events.

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, said: “Communities will not be cut off, we are not targeting primary routes.

“This is a consultation, so if there are things people think we should take into consideration then we need people to let us know.

“We’re not doing this for fun, it’s because we have lost 50 per cent of our funding.

“It isn’t as though we only have to save £100,000.”

Coun Scott appealed for people to raise concerns before July 25 at