Gritting problems (Jane Leask)

This weekend my daughter crashed her car on ice on the road between Aith and Voe.

She had to wait for someone to get her out of the car and although she was very shaken she is okay but the car is written off.

Anyone who has driven on this road when there is snow or ice will know how bad it is.

Please could I request that the councillors reconsider their policy on gritting and that this road (at least) is added back on to the schedule for gritting before someone loses their life?

Jane Leask



Add Your Comment
  • Gordon Harmer

    • January 14th, 2013 12:41

    Jane I fear it will take just that, someone loosing their life before gritting as it used to be is re introduced. School and feeder buses have to travel up and down untreated category three roads in all weathers. I just hope it is not a school bus that is the first casualty to make our elected representatives wake up and see the folly of their ways.

  • Joe johnson

    • January 14th, 2013 13:02

    I could not agree more. At this time of year gritting all the roads should be done. It may cost money but a human life is more important!

  • Debra Nicolson

    • January 14th, 2013 14:12

    I am in total agreement with the above comments. Let’s not play around with peoples’ lives!

  • Sandy McMillan

    • January 14th, 2013 15:43

    We must not blame thr Grtting drivers and there crews, they do a excellent job, the blame is on the shoulders of the Council Managers, and the 22 Councillors, the question that needs to be put to the SIC Councillors, is a grain of salt worth more that a Human life.

  • Steve Jack

    • January 14th, 2013 16:22

    Completely agree. It is inevitable that a serious accident will occur. Additionally, there will be pressure on health and social care with unnecessary injuries e.g. frail folk falling while negotiating icy roads in the dark between bus stop and home.

  • Sandra Meades

    • January 14th, 2013 20:03

    If my 12-year old son comes to grief because the Council can’t ensure the safety of innocent school-children I wil never, ever let it rest. Somebody will be responible. In the meantime I think it is fair enough to use my own judgement as to whether the roads are safe enough for my child to travel – although of course I can only see the roads in my area.

    The Council are completely responsible for the safety of children travelling to school. And, of course, on the West Side we have the additional possibility in the near future that our children have to travel a ridiculous distance in bad conditions …

  • Jane Leask - Clousta

    • January 15th, 2013 9:12

    I have been told another car went off the same stretch of road this morning. That is 3 in 3 weeks.

  • Jane Leask - Clousta

    • January 15th, 2013 13:38

    Just looked at the report used when making the decision to reduce gritting. Interestingly it says
    ‘ 4.11 Members should note that it is not proposed to amend current policy
    for snow clearance and pre-treatments, only post treatment for FROST
    would be reduced by the proposed amendments.’

    Wikipedia came up with this definition of Frost –
    Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from humid air. It is formed when the temperature of solid surfaces are below the freezing point of water and also below the frost point.

    So does that mean that ice and snow are still to be treated as it did not come from humid air?

  • Colin Hunter

    • January 15th, 2013 16:40

    It is all very well bleating about what the Council has or has not done regarding gritting. We all knew that there were going to be cut backs so it is reasonable to assume gritting would also be a victim. People then need to take action to ensure that their vehicles can cope with the conditions. The fitting of winter tyres is mandatory in some EU countries when avarage monthly temperaures dip below 7 Degrees Celcius. Unfortunately it is not the case here, although many people believe it should be. One wonders how many of the cars which left the road recently were so equipped?

  • Shuard Manson

    • January 16th, 2013 0:26

    They manage in several Northern European and Scandinavian countries. Why can’t we?

  • Jane Leask (Clousta)

    • January 16th, 2013 7:06

    I can only speak for my daughter who had winter tyres on.

  • Carol Manson

    • January 16th, 2013 10:08

    It is shocking that gritting has been cut to the extent that it has, and lives could unfortunately be lost before the decision is reversed.

  • Sandy McDonald

    • January 20th, 2013 10:06

    I am sure that Janes daughter was driving at a sensible speed but seeing the way some people drive in icy conditions I am not surprised that cars go off the road.

    I saw a car go off the road a few years ago, we were driving around 20 mph around a very twisty bit of road (won’t say where in case someone can identify the occurrence!) and could see car approaching fast from behind, they must have been doing 50. Basically driving as if it was a dry summers day. My wife said “they are going to go off as soon as they hit the brakes”. And sure enough, as they got closer and saw us they hit the brakes, slid and flipped. Luckily no one was injured.

    I know that we slag off the rest of the country when they have a light dusting of snow and can’t cope but every time we have icy weather I see 2 or 3 cars off the road every day.

    I am sure that reduced gritting is partly responsible but the main cause is lack of knowledge in how drive in icy conditions. I.E. slowly! Don’t use the brakes and keep your concentration.

  • Colin Hunter

    • January 20th, 2013 17:22

    Not so much just slowly, Sandy, but SMOOTHLY, and with minimal inputs to steering, brakes and accelerator. A decent FULL SET of winter tyres is a big help, but not the be all to end all on ice. Only studs will cope with that. There are some good videos on Youtube about the importance of putting FOUR winter tyres on instead of just on the drive axles like some people do. That practice is actually illegal in Sweden, and for good reason!
    The videos actually show that only two winter tyres can actually be as bad, if not worse than none at all!

  • Johan Adamson

    • January 21st, 2013 10:38

    I dont think our road has been gritted yet this winter (thank goodness its flat). I was thinking that we could start a community scheme and use an available tractor. Can we submit invoices for time, salt and diesel to the SIC, or get a grant, or can we have a reduction in the council tax? The little school bus does a tremendous job every day. Its not a job I would want – responsibility for all those bairns on the bus. If anything happened to any of them I would sue and never forgive, like S Meades above. And central government would say to the SIC – well we give you the money to undertake a gritting service dont we, and you have all that council tax, what did you do with it?


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