Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Gillingham's roads dangerous - where are the gritters?

Franklin Road this morning
It is true that the weather in the Medway Towns has taken an unexpected turn for the worse with wind, snow and flurries but it also seems to have caught Medway Council by surprise!

Last night I was heartened by the sight of a solitary gritter going around Gillingham South ward but noted with some concern how icy the roads were like Canadian Avenue, Livingston road and Valley road. It seemed the main roads were OK though.

This morning though the near 0 degrees seems to have shut the whole area down. Despite the Council's twitter stream informing residents that the streets were being cleared and lots of hard work had been done I was forced to beg to differ!

Gillingham, seems to have been forgotten again as main arteries like Sturdee Avenue, Livingston circus and even Nelson Road ( A231) in Gillingham South were slushed, ice rinks and accidents waiting to happen.

I'm not belittling the hard (and difficult work) carried out by the Council's foot soldiers working in these adverse conditions to try and keep Medway running but their coordinators who have been slow on the up take to deal with things this morning. People still have to attempt to go to work, get kids to school or get to elderly relatives and winding up for 9am is simply too late in the day for this.Those of us who have to commute to work, OK I go by train but for those who drive, we need to be there for 9 or 10. I can't talk for the rest of the towns but Gillingham South's roads were left untreated and the pavements treacherous.  We knew this was coming, why on day two are we struggling?

The other question that the Council should be looking at is; are there enough gritters in the fleet. According to the website there are 8 gritters for the whole of the Medway towns. Now granted the main routes have to be a priority but clearly this morning they weren't even completed. Should we be looking at expanding the fleet somewhat or finding a more efficient way of coordinating them?

The twitter stream was helpful though and it did inform plenty of the service closures and a list of schools closed and I would urge residents to please check the Council's website for more information as to closures etc.

Let's just hope Better for less kicks in better tomorrow on Day 3!

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