A PROSPECTIVE Labour councillor has hit out at council chiefs over the lack of grit on two major Uttoxeter routes.
Dave Trenery, Labour County Council candidate blasted Staffordshire County Council as he said he has received complaints from residents regarding the lack of grit during the snowy weather.
He said the complaints were received from people living in the Kingfisher Way and Marlborough Way areas saying the county council has failed to grit these important routes in the recent snow and ice.
The candidate said Kingfisher Way was particularly important as it is a bus route and was included on the authority’s website as a route to be gritted.
Mr Trenery said “Kingfisher Way is a bus route and is shown as one of the routes to be gritted on a map on the county council’s website.
“When I contacted the county council I was told their map was wrong and that Kingfisher Way should not have been included.
“They said they would change the map – but as of 8 February it is still showing Kingfisher Way as a route that should be salted.
“Marlborough Way is supposed to be gritted but according to local residents it took three days for the county council to get round to it last time it snowed.
“During that time buses could not get up and down, isolating residents.
“I have tried to find out how the county council decides whether a road should be gritted, but have been told there are no absolute rules, so they ought to be able to include Kingfisher Way.
“I believe that the county council should have clear rules about which roads get treated so we know what to expect and can hold them to account, and I will continue to seek to clarify this.
“With the winter still in full sway I am concerned that there will be more disruption to bus services and to residents trying to go about their business.
“I will continue to press the county council for a satisfactory response to this issue.”
Residents will be left more concerned about the busy roads after more snow fell at the beginning of this week and is set to continue.
The county council responded by saying around 43 per cent of the highways network is on its priority gritting network.
These are essentially the busiest roads and they look at a number of factors including the volume of traffic and the actual lay out of the gritting route.
A council statement said: “Obviously we need to get to as many priority roads as possible to keep as much of the county on the move – so we look at the route as a whole, rather than a single road in isolation.
“Kingfisher Way and Marlborough Way are not on the priority gritting map.
“Although it appears that Kingfisher Way is included this is an error and it has not been gritted as a priority for the past five years, so residents would not expect this.
“We always work closely with our county councillors and local residents and look at requests to add roads on a case by case basis.”
Mike Maryon, Staffordshire County Council’s Highways Chief, praised the gritting crews for their hard work in the bad weather since the start of the year.
He said: “Our gritting crews have done a fantastic job in helping keep as many roads as possible open during the winter spells of ice and snow.
“We do grit around 43 per cent of our 6,000km of highways – much higher than many other authorities – and this year we have tried to get to even more routes, although obviously we can’t get everywhere.
“We do have to prioritise the busiest roads and neither of these roads are on the existing priority gritting network.
“We continue to work with residents and the local county councillor and look at requests to add roads to the priority gritting map on a case by case basis.
“If it is felt that Kingfisher Way meets the priority criteria we will add this to the network as soon as possible.”