Craig Whittaker MP has urged Calderdale Council to reconsider some of the changes that they intend to make to their policy on Winter gritting.
The Council has recently reviewed its policy on determining which roads should form part of its precautionary winter gritting route.
Priority is given to Calderdale’s busiest roads, main bus routes and roads which give access to hospitals, emergency services and community facilities such as schools and shopping centres.
This has led to many roads which have previously been gritted being omitted from the Council’s list of roads which will be treated in bad weather. Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker said:
“Although I appreciate that the Council has to review its winter gritting routes from time to time, some of the changes to their policy seem to lack basic common sense.
“For example, unlike in previous years, the Council will no longer take into consideration the gradient of a road in deciding whether or not it will be gritted. Surely common sense would dictate that steep roads which experience a large amount of traffic should be gritted but it seems like this will not be the case.
“Furthermore, many rural roads which have traditionally been gritted have been removed from the list. This will make it incredibly difficult for many residents of the Calder Valley to get about, especially those who live in rural areas. I am calling for the Council to urgently review some aspects of this policy so that the situation can be rectified before we start to experience bad weather.”
Leader of the Conservative Group on Calderdale Council, Councillor Scott Benton, said: "Once again we are seeing the Council making changes to key frontline services which could be avoided if reductions were made in non-essential expenditure.
"The Highways budget has been reduced several times over the last few years and many residents are questioning the wisdom of these cost savings when it potentially compromises the safety of the public. The Council undoubtedly has difficult choices to make but once again we are seeing the Council pursuing the wrong priorities.
"Many people are unaware of these changes and as well as reconsidering elements of this policy, we are urging the Council to better communicate these proposals to the public so that residents have a chance to comment."