Councillor “disappointed” over the gritting of roads in south Norfolk
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
A number of people have complained about the conditions of the roads in south Norfolk this morning after freezing temperatures overnight.
Roads were described as 'treacherous' and south Norfolk councillor Clayton Hudson has questioned the county council over the times they gritted the roads. Although the freezing conditions affected the whole of the county, the south appeared to be hit the hardest with south Norfolk police stating they dealt with 40 incidents.
The southbound carriageway of the A140 between Dickleburgh and Scole was closed for part of the morning because of icy conditions and after two crashes on that stretch of the road.
Gritters were sent out at 7pm last night but Mr Hudson believes they should have been sent out in the early hours after rain fell from 10.30pm.
He said: 'I am very disappointed in the service provided by the Norfolk County Council Highways gritting team today.
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'With the forecasting and technology available to organisations like Norfolk County Council the gritters should have been deployed prior to work and school commuting this morning.
'The council's failure to deploy the gritters has inconvenienced many people today and stretched the resources of the emergency services in dealing with accidents and collisions. It was completely avoidable in my opinion.'
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The county council said they receive and review their weather forecast at noon each day when the decision for times to grit are made.
A spokesman for the authority said: 'It takes three hours to treat the 2,100 mile network. In accordance with the national guidance, the network should be treated before the formation of ice is forecast.
'This is one of the key factors in dictating the start time for gritting operations. Last night, road surface temperatures were forecast to drop below zero from around 9pm/10pm in some parts of the county, hence the 7pm start time.'
The spokesman added that although gritting times are flexiable there are a number of constraints including the weather, resources and driving laws.
However, they are 'able to respond to changes and emergencies but within the context of the three hour treatment time'.
Gritting will take place on all county gritting routes this evening, with a further run at 3am in the west, south and inland north zones.