Council will learn lessons from snow drama
I am writing in response to Councillor Tim Warren's criticism of the council's snow clearing and road gritting operation.
t is a shame that he has chosen to try and make a party political point out of the difficult conditions and hardships faced recently.
It would have been sensible for him to have tried to find out the facts before making his comments.
I completely agree that there are always lessons to be learned from any situation like this and I therefore ensured that officers carried out an immediate review of recent events to establish whether anything could have been done differently to have reduced the impact of the weather.
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The Liberal Democrat approach has seen the introduction of local "snow patrols" where volunteers are provided with training, equipment and materials to help on local roads and pavements. This approach has also led to coordinated help for priority areas by council employees during bad weather.
On the evening when most disruption occurred, salt levels on the road were high and the forecast indicated that a steady fall of snow would take place across a number of hours.
What actually happened was that we got a rapid fall of snow in a short time which washed salt off the roads especially on steep hills.
The gritter lorries were mobilised as soon as it was clear that the forecast was wrong and they attended all locations where traffic had become stuck.
We can only plan our response based on the best weather information available and we have a network of 420 kilometres of roads, not all of which can be treated at exactly the same time.
This represents 36 per cent of our entire road network whereas the average for all local authorities is 30 per cent.
I am aware of the reports of parking tickets being issued to cars which had been abandoned and I am happy to confirm, as I did in our discussion on local radio, that the authority will take a common sense approach to this matter so that if any such tickets were issued, we will consider cancelling these.
It might have been sensible if Tim Warren had asked me or the relevant officers about these issues before sounding off to the media.
Councillor Roger Symonds Lib Dem Cabinet member for Transport Combe Road Bath