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Urgent review of how pavements are gritted in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 06:59 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:10 02 July 2010

Snow on Norwich pavement

Snow on Norwich pavement

Peter Walsh

An urgent review of the gritting of pavements in parts of the city is to be held later this week when councillors meet to discuss complaints that many were left in a treacherous state following the recent cold snap.

An urgent review of the gritting of pavements in parts of the city is to be held later this week when councillors meet to discuss complaints that many were left in a treacherous state following the recent cold snap.

As the recent snow gave way to icy conditions fears were raised that the focus was purely on clearing the roads not ensuring that the pavements also remained safe for pedestrians.

A flurry of hospital admissions following people falling over in the icy conditions prompted calls for Norfolk County Council to hold an urgent review into how roads and paths can be kept ice free in future cold spells.

Andrew Boswell, leader of the Green Party Group on Norfolk County Council, was one of those called on the authority to act, by writing to demand the planning and transportation overview and scrutiny committee holds a meeting on the matter.

A meeting has now been called and the committee will meet on Wednesdayat County Hall to discuss the authority's winter gritting procedures.

Mr Boswell, said: “I hope that the council administration will now move from denial of the problems that have been caused for the elderly and vulnerable during the icy weather to finding solutions to them.

“Most importantly, we need decisive action now to help make pavements safer so people can get to the shops for essential items.

“Longer term planning must also be revisited so we see more residential grit boxes provided, regular replenishment of them, and more organised gritting of pavements in future icy spells.”

Mr Boswell said he also wanted to see a full review of the Winter Services Plan to be initiated now and completed by the committee's meeting in March.

The council's website says that it does not normally treat cycle paths or pavements though it adds it will treat footways on a priority basis after prolonged periods of snow or ice.

It said it had tried to do minor and estate roads during the cold snap as well as footpaths though the sheer numbers to cover meant it was difficult to do them all. In Norwich responsibility for gritting rests with the city council.

Tim East, Lib Dem spokesman for planning and transportation, also called for the issue to be raised at the meeting.

He said: “I'm delighted its going to be discussed. It's an important issue and there has been a lot of concern particularly in market towns.”

Mr East said he hoped the Winter Services Plan would also be reviewed as it had not been looked at since 2005 and was, perhaps, “five years out of date”.

Have you been injured as a result of falling in the icy conditions? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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