Should gritting runs be cut on Norfolk roads?

Picture: Humphreys/PA Wire

Picture: Humphreys/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Residents are being asked for their views on a proposed reduction to the number of roads being gritted across the county.

A Norfolk County Highways gritter lorry is loaded up in the salt dome at the depot at Ketteringham.

A Norfolk County Highways gritter lorry is loaded up in the salt dome at the depot at Ketteringham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The online consultation details a proposal for reducing the number of roads gritted in Norfolk from 34pc to 30pc and in turn saving the council £200,000.

That money would go towards £125m that the council needs to save ahead of a central government grant being completely cut by 2021.

To achieve the saving an in-depth assessment of Norfok's road network would be carried out in order to re-prioritise which roads should still be gritted.

There would continue to be at least one gritted route into each town and village that is currently in receipt of one.

Picture: Ian Burt

Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Since the beginning of December temperatures have plummeted across Norfolk resulting in a number of car accidents and highlighting the importance of gritting.

Speaking on whether a cut could lead to greater costs to the emergency services, a spokesperson from Norfolk County Council said: 'We acknowledge that any change to a service delivered by Norfolk County Council may impact other local service providers. But road user safety is absolutely paramount to us.

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'We will continue with our policy aim of treating a route into each village in Norfolk and we would continue to grit more than 2,000 miles of Norfolk's 6,000 miles of roads.

'At the start of each winter a map of all routes is made available and communicated to Norfolk road users. This will clearly show the treated routes and we encourage all residents to prioritise the use of gritted roads where possible.'

The proposal has come eight months after a decision to change the temperature required for gritting runs came into force, lowering it from 1C to 0.5C. The measure is expected to bring a saving of around £25,000 a year.

The change to gritting routes is one of a number of cost saving proposals drawn up by the county council. Others include a review of bus services and a reduction to non-safety critical highway maintenance.

What do you think of the proposals? Give your views to the council.