Council rejects criticism over gritting

COUNCIL bosses in Darlington have refuted accusations of being poorly prepared for the heavy snowfall in the town which brought traffic to a standstill.

Several hours of blizzards on Wednesday (February 13) left the town’s roads treacherous and caused headaches for drivers attempting to negotiate the end-of-day commute.

The town’s Victoria Road, part of the ring road, was one of the worst-affected areas, with vehicles struggling to grip the sloping carriageway, leading to staff from the nearby Sainsbury’s store rushing to help.

Darlington Borough Council, which is responsible for keeping the borough’s highways moving, said roads were gritted on Wednesday morning before the snow fell.

But readers commenting on the story on The Northern Echo’s website criticised the council for failing to keep traffic moving freely.

One commenter, Swissball, asked: “Where were the gritters? This has been forecast for days!”

Darlo resident chipped in: “Croft bank was lethal. Thanks to the guys who were scattering grit – I am sure they saved many shunts and bumps.”

Paul1963 said: “I don’t think any amount of grit would have stopped the gridlock in Darlington.

“It is like this in the middle of summer, it’s just poor traffic management.

“The gritters have been out all day, I’ve seen them.

“Putting loads of grit down has little or no more effect than putting a small amount down – it needs the traffic to work it in, so if the cars are at a standstill, it won’t work.”

Miketually asked: “How many of the people stuck in cars could have made the journey on foot?”

A council spokesman said: “"We plan ahead for when we will need to send our gritters out by using national and local weather data.

“We did grit priority routes on Wednesday (February 13) morning ahead of the predicted bad weather and sent our gritters out again mid-afternoon.

"The higher than usual volume of traffic at about 3pm on Wednesday did make it difficult for our gritters to get around the routes as quickly as we would have liked.

“However, all planned routes were covered by the gritters.”

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Comments (5)

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11:31am Fri 15 Feb 13

hemmi1 says...

anytime i pass a durham county council gritter the salt hits the side of my car however no problem passing a darlington gritter all i ever see is a whispy little dust cloud i often think it might be better not to send them out at all for the amount of salt they put down
anytime i pass a durham county council gritter the salt hits the side of my car however no problem passing a darlington gritter all i ever see is a whispy little dust cloud i often think it might be better not to send them out at all for the amount of salt they put down hemmi1

12:00pm Fri 15 Feb 13

greenfinger says...

there's a shock, Darlington council refuting things lol. they even try to defend the indefensible! like the case that went to court over the car that was wrecked and their own cctv footage got them done. morons need kicking out!
there's a shock, Darlington council refuting things lol. they even try to defend the indefensible! like the case that went to court over the car that was wrecked and their own cctv footage got them done. morons need kicking out! greenfinger

1:21pm Fri 15 Feb 13

judygone says...

I think it was a cost cutting exercise. They thought it was going to rain at 6, they said so on facebook !
I think it was a cost cutting exercise. They thought it was going to rain at 6, they said so on facebook ! judygone

2:46pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Spy Boy says...

Blizzard ?????? Was here all day. Saw some snow. Didn't see a blizzard. Didn't see a gritter. Saw cars stuck and sliding about. Saw jams and poor driving practice, but didn't see a blizzard. Where were the gritters ? DBC layed them off ? DBC caught with their pants down yet again.
Blizzard ?????? Was here all day. Saw some snow. Didn't see a blizzard. Didn't see a gritter. Saw cars stuck and sliding about. Saw jams and poor driving practice, but didn't see a blizzard. Where were the gritters ? DBC layed them off ? DBC caught with their pants down yet again. Spy Boy

4:28pm Fri 15 Feb 13

the-big-yin says...

The best laugh is that d.c.c. had gritters out last night when they knew it was going to be 9 degrees today. Pathetic!!!!!
The best laugh is that d.c.c. had gritters out last night when they knew it was going to be 9 degrees today. Pathetic!!!!! the-big-yin

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