The incessant rain of previous weeks has given way to cold, but dry conditions.
While its nice to be rid of the rain the cold weather brings with it problems like night frosts, icy roads and snow.
For the past few nights the gritters have been out on the roads of Buckinghamshire, treating the ‘precautionary routes’.
The main roads may be ice free but the residents of the town have to drive from their homes through the housing estates on untreated roads before they can get to the main road.
With many of the steepest residential roads left to the mercy of ice this begs the question why bother gritting any of the roads?
Gritting the roads harks back to the days before cars had air bags, anti-lock brakes, traction controls and the like. The modern car is more than capable of handling an icy road.
Rather than gritting surely effort should be put into developing an ice-resisting road surface thus eliminating the problem completely?
In my opinion gritting is a complete waste of time unless ALL the roads are treated, either do every road or don’t bother at all.
How does the ordinary motorist know if the road they are driving on is gritted? Surely the ‘precautionary routes’ should have sign posts upon them saying that they will be treated in icy weather so drivers know if the roads are likely to be ice free?
Would is not be better to grit all roads with a speed limit above 40mph rather than doing ‘main’ roads?
In cold weather conditions surely the speed limits on untreated roads should be lowered by 50% as a safety measure?
Let’s face it during the icy mornings the drivers are driving normally on all the roads thus proving that gritting is a waste of time.
The powers that be are saying they are facing budgetary pressures indeed only last week it was announced that Buckinghamshire County Council’s proportion of the Council Tax would rise by 3.99% so to cut expenditure why not stop the madness of wasting so much money gritting a few of the roads while everyone is driving safely on the majority of roads that are left untreated?
Then of course there are the grit bins placed beside the road for resident to use.
When the cold weather comes unscrupulous characters with pick up trucks will be visiting the roadside grit bins, emptying their contents, bagging the grit up and selling it back to the residents who paid for it in the first place through their Council Tax.
So much money has been spent converting perfectly good street lights to newfangled LED technology in a desperate attempt to cut costs yet money is being wasted gritting a selected few roads.
It’s about time there was a re-think on the gritting of the roads.
What do you think?
*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.