St Albans city centre could become impassable if snow falls this winter, warns councillor
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 September 2016
Parts of the city centre will become impassable if snow falls this winter according to a county councillor.
Cllr Chris White has warned people not to near central St Albans in the event of snowfall because eight roads that were previously gritted in icy weather would not longer be treated.
They are St Peter’s Road, Manor Road, Beaconsfield Road, Lemsford Road, Marlborough Road, Clarence Road and Woodstock Roads North and South.
Cllr White, who represents St Albans Central, contested the county council’s claims that the new gritting maps would only reduce coverage by two per cent.
He said: ““It is already bad enough when it snows. But these routes are all part of the key arterial network of the centre of St Albans: if these roads are left impassable traffic will simply grind to a halt.”
He accused the ruling Conservatives on the county council of being hopelessly out of touch and deciding what was best for St Albans ‘like some nineteenth century colonial power’.
Cllr Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said: “We have been reviewing our highway winter gritting routes to ensure that we have a consistent approach to treating the right roads at the right time and that we aren’t missing any roads that meet our criteria.
“We carry out precautionary gritting of around 2275km of roads and the review has highlighted that around 49km needs moving onto the category of routes that get treated during periods of prolonged wintery weather.
“Our priority during bad weather is to keep our main transport routes moving and this is a massive task. It is simply not feasible to apply the precautionary process everywhere.”
A county council spokesperson said that the change to the gritting routes would not affect major or bus routes and if any councillors felt that an error had been made, they were being encouraged to make an approach about it.