OT Salting the road

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Sorry - I just feel like having a good moan. Here on the Chilterns we had max 4cm of snow at 5.00pm last night. I live on a steep hill on the main A404 from HIgh Wycombe to Amersham. There was plenty of warning of the snow but we never saw a salt lorry all day. So there was pack ice on the road and everybody was slipping and sliding - it took my neighbour from 4.30 to 11.30pm to do 8 miles to get home!!!! No change this morning - still pack ice and the traffic has been solid again since about 6.00am. Now at 10.20am the first grit lorry has just gone past.
It amazes me - everyone knew there was going to be snow (and you can guarantee if there's any about that the tops of the Chilterns will get it) but we STILL get this nightmare every time.
Bucks County Council Highways - you're a joke. Apparently, according to their website, they decide when to salt the road depending on the road temperature, not the air temperature or the weather forecast! They even took away the salt box that used to be on the verge over road, which we could use to rescue stranded cars. Because of vandalism they said. There were at least 30 cars left abandoned just on this one hill all night.
/moan
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Why don't you salt the road for yourselves? You obviously know what the conditions are like.
I live on a hill too, several of us have a bag of rock salt each and do a few houses either side of our own and everyone benefits. Total cost about ten pounds a year.
MrCheerful
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MrCheerful wrote:

WTF should he/we? That's one of the things we pay Council Tax for.

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On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 11:56:40 GMT, MrCheerful wrote:

I think the OP would have done if "they" hadn't taken the grit bin away.

Why pay twice? Assuming your road is one that does get treated by the council gritter of course.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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[40 lines snipped]

Why pay taxes and then do the job yourself?
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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Huge wrote:

Because if you don't, the job won't get done?
(not saying it is "fair" or makes sense - just making rhe observation!)
--
Cheers,

John.

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Not at all. I just ring and complain.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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The hill here, Inkerman Hill, is a real killer on a bike for me, but it's not that bad and I know lots worse. It's about 450m long and rises 75m in total, and every summer it's used as a time trial for a major international bike race. Halfway up there is a junction with a side road and my house is on one corner. There are only 4 houses, the rest is woods, and I know three of us do buy our own salt. We always put some down on the junction as it's extremely dangerous in the ice - that's why there used to be a salt box here - but there's no way we could salt the whole hill ourselves. We did use some salt last night, and also some ballast. We helped a big articulated tanker trying to get up - it was literally inching its way along and took at least 1 hours.
I phoned the Highways depot today and they were very defensive as you can imagine, but they did say they would look into putting the salt box back, which I hope will be a result. But they wouldn't explain why they don't salt at the right time. It's a main A road and gets very busy in rush hours. They knew there would be snow, but they just left it to freeze over. Even ambulances and police cars were having trouble - one ambulance going down had chains on its tyres.
Yes, we pay council tax like everyone else. But it's not the money, it's the principle. You don't mind helping out people in trouble, and it can be fun really - my wife was having a great time making tea for everyone who was stranded. But I do think you should be able to expect a responsible attitude from the Highways Dept to try to help get people home when they're stranded.
Peter
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I only live a couple of miles from you, and agree with you. The gritting around here seems to defy all logic, they did grit the roads, on Monday morning and at least twice on Tuesday, (when it was above freezing and no snow forecast). On my way to work (5.30am) they are often gritting the roads, but not on the days that I have actually had to scrape the windscreen. This seems to have been the case for the last 2 or 3 years, do you think its a council health and safety thing, in case their drivers sue them if they have an accident due to the ice? It could be just a Wycombe issue, this morning as you say, nothing had been done and the roads were still in the same condition as the were the evening before, but on entering the Aylesbury area, the roads were very suddenly clear of ice and snow.
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On 29 Jan 2004 12:32:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

Because I'm at home in the warm, while your principles are still stuck freezing their arse off at the bottom of the hill.
Because if I do it, I apply coal fire ash as it's needed, rather than prophylactic salt that may or may not be required, but rots my car anyway.
Anyway, I've been commuting on my 2x1 this week. 10 miles to Bath on a traffic-free cycle path. Apart from the sheet ice this morning, it's great fun !
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I was once told that the reason almost no-one (shops included) clears the (assumed public) area immediately outside their property any more, is that you can have your arse sued off if you don't do a perfect job and someone slips and injures themselves. Leave it alone and it's the authoritys' responsibility. They have better lawyers and can mostly avoid liability.
--
I would if I could but I can't so I won't.

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John Laird wrote:

Further to that, I believe (although IANAL, so feel free to correct me) that the same situation applies to clearing snow _on your own property_, e.g. from the pavement to the front door. If someone, e.g. postie, slips and injures themselves then you are liable if you cleared the snow whereas if you leave it alone then you're not (presumably it is then an Act of God or similar).
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You know I think you may be right.
--
Money doesn't come easy - that's the way it goes!

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On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 11:00:12 -0000, Peter Taylor wrote:

8 miles, he could have walked it in about 3hrs and been a lot better for it. Have people forgotten what their legs are for?

This is normal for most councils and with the county wide networks of road sensors and weather stations is normally pretty good. Remember that you can get a very sharp ground frost with the air temp several degrees above 0C. As for gritting based on the weather forecast, you'd be moaning next that they wasted money sending the gritters out when it didn't get frosty. Hindsight... 100% accurate the best forecast there is.
However I'd like to know where our gritters got to yesterday. Didn't see one all day. With yesterdays conditions I'd have expected to see them run past at least twice if not 3 or 4 times. I wonder if the Highways Agency/County Councils pulled "priority" on the District Councils and got the gritters in position to keep the primary/trunk routes open at the expense of the secondaries?
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:41:43 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

Sadly, many people have done just that.
We've got a school round the corner (fortunately far enough away for it not to be a problem). It's quite amazing the number of Mums who insist on dropping the kids off who live barely further away than the distance they can park.
I would love to see a scheme whereby satellite vehicle tracking could impose charges based upon waiting time outside of schools and other places. Hell, you could do away with parking meters at the roadside and in car parks too! And pay for just the time you take rather than buying a ticket for 3 hours to do 10 minute shopping.
And the upside would be no more tax disc for the car. Sod the MOT and insurance document checking in the post office - just log onto the ministries web site and have your credit card checked out ;)
PoP
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Dave Liquorice wrote:

South Gloucestershire seemed to do a decent job - the B roads I was on this morning were gritted (I saw some lanes that weren't, but they are very minor and don't really go anywhere). My road wasn't done but it's (a) flat, (b) effectively a crescent, and (c) in a 20MPH limit (therefore lower accident risk from a skid) so IMO it should be lowest priority (it's possibly also too marrow for a gritter).
Gloucestershire was a different story - many lanes that are the largest and most direct route to some villages were sheet ice and never get done, and even the through routes hadn't been done properly judging by the junctions.
Different priorities of course. And we pay less council tax in SG.
--
Chris
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Dave Liquorice wrote

Yes that's true. But a) his wife needed the car and b) he didn't know it was going to take so long. I think he *would* have left the car and walked if he'd known - as you say, hindsight is the best forecast.

But everyone knew it was going to snow. The Met Office were 100% accurate.

Exactly
This IS a primary road - the A404. If you're coming east on the M4 or M40 and heading north towards the M1 it's the main route if the M25 is blocked, even though you have to go through the centre of High Wycombe.

Chin up Peter
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(Much <snipped>)

Well my chin is up Peter, less than a mile away from you. Not only did we not get any grit, but the sun doesn't even rise above the (north-facing) hill here at this time of year to attempt to melt the ice.
Geoff (thank heavens for Broadband, I CAN work at home!)
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Geoff Rousell wrote

Well, bless my soul! With yourself, Darren, Rod and I we've got enough to start uk.local.wycombe :o)
Peter
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:-)
Rod
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