FENLAND: Pedestrians slither to the shops but there's no money to rid pavements of ice

PUBLISHED: 16:22 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:51 02 June 2010

Kevin Simpson stands by the puddle on March Town Bridge, where a pensioner slipped over.

Kevin Simpson stands by the puddle on March Town Bridge, where a pensioner slipped over.

PEDESTRIANS slithered to the shops this week as icy pavements across Fenland remained untreated during one of the coldest spells in years. Cambridgeshire County Council admitted they had no money to salt the pavements, whilst Fenland District Council said

PEDESTRIANS slithered to the shops this week as icy pavements across Fenland remained untreated during one of the coldest spells in years.

Cambridgeshire County Council admitted they had no money to salt the pavements, whilst Fenland District Council said it was not their responsibility.

A county council spokesman said on Wednesday: "Unfortunately we cannot cover everywhere. We would like to have the resources to do so, but we do not.

"In the last 24 hours we have been out five times gritting the roads and that in itself is a major operation in terms of staffing levels. We would also need a major investment in equipment."

So far this winter, the county council has carried out 60 gritter runs - twice the usual number - at a total cost of £1.2million.

"Pavements in town and village centres are normally only salted if the icy conditions persist for several days," he added.

"Where requested we will provide a supply of salt for use on local problem spots, i.e. a hill or on a dangerous bend that suffers badly from ice.

"The request should be made by the district, town or parish council, which must first pay to provide a salt bin at the location."

A Fenland Council spokesman said: "Most pavements fall into the broad definition of 'highway' which Cambs County Council is responsible for, as the Highway Authority.

"We grit our car parks and Roddons Housing Association is obviously responsible for gritting areas it is responsible for, like access paths to properties."

March man Kevin Simpson helped a pensioner back to his feet after his fall on Wednesday.

He said: "You are told to leave the cars at home and walk, but the footpaths are icy.

"It is safer being in a car and possibly having a small bump, than falling over and hurting yourself."


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