Monday, December 28, 2009

South Lakeland Snow

Snow first hit Kendal on Sunday 20th December 2009 and has been snowing on and off for the past week giving use upto a foot of snow. The forecast for upto New Year indicates that the icy snow we currently have won't disappear quickly.

In the UK we don't get long periods of snow falls, hence our council don't devote alot of resources to this area, we had an icy period early in the year when the council got a bit of stick for the grit bins being empty, locals cottoned on that it's upto them to remind the council where the bins are empty and during this recent spell there have been no online reports of empty bins.

When the snow hit us last week the national media gave the councils a grilling for not being able to cope, there was a good phone-in on FiveLive (strangely the next day they were on the councils side reporting how everything possible is being done). Locally there were a few complains on the lack of gritting, which got me thinking what are the councils commitments.

Westmorland Gazette Report 1
Westmorland Gazette Report 2
Local Blog

Well a quick search concludes that they don't commit to much, look on South Lakeland District Councils website and they are very quick to pass you over the Cumbria County Councils website.

So what do CCC commit to, not a lot, put simply:-

  • Priority 1 class roads - Aim to salt within 3 hrs (Kendal - Sedbergh Rd, Burton Rd, Milnthorpe Rd, A roads through Kendal)
  • Priority 2 class roads - Aim to salt within 5hrs (Kendal - Shap Rd, Appleby Rd, Windermere Rd, BeastBanks, Natland Rd, Oxenholme Rd, last on list Urban roads in Kendal)

  • only when forecast is for long periods of icy weather, limits to footpaths with high levels of use, usually main shopping areas. Aim to start gritting within 5hrs, for Kendal priority is given to Stricklandgate (Sandes Avenue to Highgate); Highgate; Kirklands; Allhallows Lane

Conclusion is with a long period of snow like we've had then unless your near a priority road then there is a slim chance that your road will get cleared if snow continues to affect higher priority roads. We've not bothered with our car for a week, currently under 15cms of snow, doing what others have done and ventured out on foot, some using sledges at shopping trolleys.

Useful links:-
CCC Winter Guide
Priority Roads
Priority Footpaths


Graeme Skinner said...

The strange thing is, CCC made a big thing in the media about using the new sticky grit which meant they did not have to go out as much with the gritters. If they no longer have to grit the same road as much surely this means they'll have staff/vehicles sitting idle - why can't they send the staff out to other routes rather than leave them idle.

Dave (Lakeuk) said...

I'd love to know what roads they're using this new sticky grit on, so I can stay clear of them.

Heard bad reports on it affecting brakes