It only seems like five minutes ago that we were protesting the fact that our one and only access route into the village was graded ‘secondary’ by Derbyshire County Council (see here and here for more details), and as such only gritted during the day, and pre-treated when possible. Bizarrely, the County Council doesn’t seem to understand that ice doesn’t care what time of the day it is, and those of us who work shifts or have to leave for work early in the morning have reported terrible road conditions during the past week. After all, we have a Policeman, a Doctor, two Nurses, a School Teacher, a Milk Lady and several County Council employees in the village…not to mention the Garage and The Pub which both rely on vehicles being able to get into/out of the village, and all of the other taxpayers who travel to work daily!
One of our eagle-eyed residents pointed out Derbyshire County Council’s own Winter Service Plan which details the criteria for primary and secondary gritting routes. Interestingly, §6.3.2 of that document states that the primary route comprises, amongst others, “Locally important roads in the carriageway hierarchy and at least one route in to all villages so far is as reasonably practicable.” Given that we only have one road into and out of the village, how is it not reasonably practicable to promote our only access route to the primary gritting network?
Derbyshire County Council have recently stated that “All town and parish councils were asked for their views and 85% said the level of gritting and snow clearance by the county council had either improved or remained the same last winter compared to previous winters.” We here at Sheldon Village find this a very interesting statistic, especially the words or remained the same which could mean many things. Therefore, we have requested the data for this survey under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, so that we can see why it wasn’t reasonably practicable to promote our only access route to the primary network, and which areas were satisfied with their service; we certainly weren’t!
Watch this space…