A county councillor is claiming a victory for “people power” following the decision to add a rural road between Catfield and Ludham to this winter’s gritting route.

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Paul Rice, county member for the Broadland Smallburgh division, has been campaigning for more than two years to have a one-mile stretch of the C405 gritted after a spate of accidents.

Despite raising a petition with 666 signatures and receiving the full support of Catfield and Ludham parish councils, the county council had resisted gritting until now.

It had argued that although the road was a useful local short-cut, it could not justify adding it to the priority gritting network when it provides the same journey as the A149 and A1062.

Learning that the council had at last relented, Mr Rice said: “With the co-operation of highways engineers this has now been sorted in time for this winter. This is a victory for people power and shows the council has listened to their arguments.”

Acknowledging the backing of the parish councils, he also thanked Ludham GP Simon Morris who had attended crashes on the road and highlighted the perils posed by ice on the carriageway.

In an open letter, he had voiced his concerns that with trees alongside the route, it was his fear that someone would go off the road and crash into one, sustaining very significant harm.

Mr Rice had contacted police to gather supporting statistical evidence and confirmed there had been several accidents on the road, some where people received life-changing injuries.

The section of road now to be gritted is a bus route for a school bus and it is the way a meal van goes from Ludham school to Sutton and Catfield schools.

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