Friday, February 6, 2009
GRITTING BEDFORDSHIRE ROADS IN THE SNOW
SNOWBOUND LUTON TRAFFIC
Day 5 and yet more snow falls in Bedfordshire! Some Bedfordshire schools have closed for 3/4 days although Elstow Lower School was one of the few to stay open on both Monday and Tuesday. London came to a standstill on Monday when all the underground trains stopped and buses were cancelled because one bus was seen on CCTV to slip on the ice. Bedfordshire buses kept running on Monday because of the daily gritting of the extensive A and B road network by Bedfordshire County Council.
In spite of the snow I have driven on local roads every day this week. After 5 days of snow Bedfordshire's supply of salt and grit is down to 4 days' supply. On Wednesday the Government threatened to withdraw all the Cheshire Salt Union supplies from Local Authorities, so that the Highways Agency could use it for motorways. Fortunately Bedfordshire has more salt and grit due to arrive next week.
Bedford Borough Council is running out of grit for Bedford roads and the Mayor of Bedford has criticsed the County Council in his Blog for not sharing their fast diminishing grit supply. No doubt he will also criticise the County Council next week if they run out and fail to grit A and B roads. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't! Even if the County Council had any grit to spare, the Mayor can hardly expect a friendly response when he has continually criticised the County Council, long after Bedford Borough Council won the Unitary battle. Also even he cannot blame the County Council for the Borough's failure to order enough grit.
Luton is in such a mess with snowbound traffic that it has banned motorists from entering the town centre today. Also hundreds of flights have been cancelled at London Luton Airport and many parts of the country just ground to a halt. Therefore we should be grateful that Bedfordshire County Council was well prepared for the snow and has enabled many people to get to work and school this week.