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Opinion : In snowy weather the roads may be gritted but what about the pavements?

| January 13, 2017

Wycombe saw the first snowfall of the winter during the evening of Thursday 12th January 2017.

The snow wasn’t deep and it didn’t cause any transport difficulties however the gritters were out and about treating roads just in case.

Indeed from what my good self can see the gritters have taken to the roads four times in the last 24 hours. On Thursday 12th January 2017 they were out on the roads before the evening rush hour, again at 6.30pm and at 11.00pm. A further gritting run on the roads took place at 4.00am on Friday 13th January 2017.

Well, with all that grit and salt spread about the roads should, and were, most definitely passable.

Of course only the main roads were gritted leaving the smaller less used roads on the housing estates to the mercy of snow and ice. Most of these minor roads are the very ones that most people’s journeys will start from.

While it may be all hunky dory for the motorists spare a thought for the poor pedestrian. The pavements don’t receive any treatment when it snows leaving the poor pedestrian to slip and slide on the ice and snow.

With modern safety standards for cars meaning that in an accident on ice the driver is unlikely to be injured. However when it comes the pedestrian broken bones and bruises are the order of the day if one slips up on an icy pavement.

It’s bad enough for pedestrians negotiating vehicles parked on the pavement in the normal weather but during snow and ice walking around a car parked on the pavement can make things even more challenging.

Personally I would like to see a little more emphasis on making sure the pavements are safe to walk on when it snows. In this age of technology surely someone could come up with a miniature gritting machine that treats the pavements? After all they have small machines to sweep the pavements so why not have a machine to grit the pavement too?

In snowy weather there should be a total ban on motorists parking, or creating other obstructions, on the pavements. It’s bad enough walking around cars in the dry weather without adding snow and ice into the mix.

I fear that gritting is a process that ‘just happens’, it’s something we all take for granted and has remained unchallenged for years.

In my opinion the gritting of the roads is akin to when children staying to school dinners are told the old cherry of ‘How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?‘. Of course it’s perfectly possible to have pudding without eating your meat but some peoples minds are so closed that the though hasn’t entered their head and their unwilling to change.

It’s about time there was a rethink on ‘gritting’ in the wintry weather so pedestrians benefit as well as motorists. After all if you slip up on an icy pavement in High Wycombe and break your leg it’s a long way to the nearest A&E department….

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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