Thursday, 31 December 2009

Gritting of Roads and Cyclepaths

During the recent cold spell it became quite clear that the Council's current gritting strategy is not sufficient (especially for sustained periods). Gritting was limited to main roads and even then they were still very icy. I don't think the gritting trucks came to Chorlton very much, as I didn't see any and nobody I have spoken to saw any during the icy period. The more minor and residential roads didn't receive any attention from the gritters. If gritting salt had been provided, I imagine many residents would have been happy to grit their own roads.

Conditions were also very bad for local cyclists as many cycle lanes and cycle paths weren't gritted at all. The Fallowfield Loop (pictured) which links Chorlton to Droylesden along an old railway line is a valuable bit of green space for walkers, but is also used by cycle commuters who want to stay off Manchester's busy roads as much as possible. The loop was very badly affected by the recent weather and was almost impossible for cyclists or walkers to use. I think the council should grit the Fallowfield Loop and give it the same priority as other commuter routes.

I know my Lib Dem colleague, Cllr Paul Ankers, is going to ask for all cycle paths (including the Loop) to be gritted as priority roads in future at the next Communities & Neighbourhood Scrutiny committee. Manchester Lib Dems are also asking for the Council's gritting strategy to be reviewed during the committee.

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