Sheffield MP calls for ‘urgent’ review of gritting cuts

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Sheffield MP Angela Smith has waded into the row over gritting cuts in the city - saying the council should review its winter maintenance plans.

The Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge has written to the Labour-controlled council’s chief executive John Mothersole to express her concerns after last weekend saw cars crashing on icy roads.

In areas such as the Mayfield Valley and Bradfield, many vehicles were left standed, some overturned and even a gritter met the same fate.

Ms Smith said: “Roads such as these can be hazardous and impassable in inclement conditions if they are left untreated, and residents of these areas can be left isolated as a result.

“I am therefore asking the council to reconsider its winter maintenance arrangements as a matter of urgency, before more serious consequences occur.”

The council agreed to remove the number of roads it grits as a precaution by almost 100 miles earlier this year.

Its initial plan was changed after consultation with the public highlighted some roads that needed to be included.

The move, as well as relocating or removing grit bins, aims to save £100,000 and affects the rural west of Sheffield most significantly.

It does not affect priority one roads or bus routes, the council has always stressed.

But last weekend, when the temperatures dropped to -2 degrees, steep rural roads were left untreated, which caused major problems.

Residents in Bradfield are already planning to protest at January’s full council meeting about the topic.

Opposition councillors have also written to the council asking for an urgent meeting.

The council says that it is ‘looking at the incidents’ over the weekend and will ‘investigate the circumstances’ in which they happened.

Coun Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for environment, also urged motorists to drive with caution and to the weather conditions.