Man in the van to grit ‘forgotten’ underpasses

Community Warden Matt Nash at Cramlington-row over gritting.
Community Warden Matt Nash at Cramlington-row over gritting.

RESIDENTS of a south east Northumberland town are set to arm themselves in the battle with winter after they claimed they were being ‘forgotten’ by the county council.

People living in Cramlington will be given access to extra grit bins in an effort to help keep underpasses in the town clear.

The areas were left off Northumberland County Council’s Winter Readiness report – which highlights the areas of key action in the event of snow and ice.

But Cramlington Town Council say the oversight by council chiefs puts residents’ lives at risk as the underpasses could become impassable due to ice, leaving people with two options – risk walking down them or cross the busy road instead.

Coun Alan Armstrong said: “It is a priority and it is essential that the underpasses are gritted, and we are being left out.

“I wouldn’t want to stand on the toes of the county council by getting our community warden to do it and I would like them to do it themselves, but in an emergency we could use him to help spread grit.”

Coun Barrie Crowther said: “Cramlington is unique in that it has underpasses, and in the winter services information there is no information on underpasses as they have not been considered by the county council.

“Our duty is the health and safety of Cramlington residents.

“We will ask Northumberland County Council if gritting of underpasses is part of their winter plan, if not then it should be.

“We have a community warden and I think it is matter of urgency that we use him for gritting these areas.”

Coun Wayne Daley suggested residents help out and access the grit bins to help clear roads.

He said: “We can encourage people to get involved in the clearing of their own streets and areas.

“We can give access to community grit bins for people to take away and clear paths, estates, drives etc.

“Let’s get the goodwill of the public and get them to help clear the area.”

The council agreed to provide further grit bins to ensure they are at every underpass in the town.

A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: “All the underpasses in Cramlington are gritted as a priority by the council’s Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team (NEAT).

“The underpasses are on the priority route along with approaches to schools, shops, steps and steep inclines.”