Volunteers to take on road gritting duty during winter

Cllr Jane Ware and Malcolm Sargeant, salt monitors of the village of Little Wymondley

Cllr Jane Ware and Malcolm Sargeant, salt monitors of the village of Little Wymondley - Credit: Archant

Residents will be taking responsibility for gritting their own roads as temperatures drop over the winter period.

During freezing weather conditions people can help themselves by taking part in Hertfordshire County Council’s (HCC) Winter Self Help Scheme by clearing snow and ice from outside their property or business.

HCC is working with district, borough, town and parish councils and community groups to make salt bags available.

Wymondley Parish Council was one of the first in Herts to get involved in the initiative, when it was launched in 2011.

To supplement the gritting carried out on major routes and bus routes, and the salt bins which are replenished by HCC, the parish council receives 34 bags of salt each weighing 25kg.

Locations in the parish, which could be dangerous in icy or snowy weather, such as sloping minor roads leading to a junction, are identified and gritted when required.

The parish council has so far recruited 10 volunteers this year, who receive guidance from HCC.

Most Read

Parish councillor Jane Ware, who lives in Little Wymondley, receives ice alerts by email from HCC and contacts the volunteers to spread salt on roads and pavements at their allocated location if conditions merit it.

The emphasis is on spreading the salt before conditions deteriorate overnight, in a bid to prevent roads and pavements freezing over.

In the past some of the residential roads, such as Tower Close, have been impassable when snow has frozen on the roads.

Cllr Ware said: “The scheme works really well because we all know our area and know which roads, paths and bus stops need gritting.

“My team of volunteers, who are showing real community spirit in keeping things moving in Little Wymondley, whatever the weather.

“This project is an excellent example of localism in action – encouraging and enabling local people to put the resources where they are needed most.”

There are 160 community groups, town and parish council across the county which are involved in the scheme.

District and borough councils, which help clear the snow, can apply for up to 30 tonnes to assist with highway treatments at no cost – with a further 50 tonnes available at £52 per tonne.

Town and parish councils can apply for one 850kg bag or up to 34 bags weighing 25kg each for free. Any additional grit needed by them would be supplied on judgement by HCC based on stock and weather conditions. The decision if this was free or at a cost would also be an ad hoc decision.

Do you think this is a good idea? Email your views to chandni.tanna@thecomet.net or tweet @thecomet24

We also have a poll question, to take part see the home page.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter