As I wrote last week, I asked Lewisham Council to grit a portion of Nightingale Grove in case of ice because of accidents involving cars that skid there in that specific spot as the road is both very steep and sharply curving.
I now received their reply and amusingly it’s based on an extract of the Council’s policy on gritting for…footways!
As you may have heard on the news media, salt stocks nationally are limited and supplies are now being managed by the government – in the case of the London Boroughs this is through the London Local Authority Co-ordinating Centre and Transport for London (LLACC and TfL), rather than local councils.
All highway authorities were asked by the government, on Saturday January 9, to reduce their salt usage and the advice from the Local Government Association for all councils across the country is that this will mean restricting treatment to priority networks only. Lewisham Council is carefully managing its reserves of salt to ensure that this priority network remains clear. This includes A and B roads and emergency services priority roads. This situation remains the case at present and the above will apply should there be further snowfall in the immediate future.
Footways are not routinely treated. However, the Council does have a priority list of footways for gritting including those in major town centres and local shopping centres, footways close to heavily used areas, such as schools, railway stations, hospitals and medical centres, those designated as “safe route to school” and other locations with specific access problems. Should there be further snowfall, gritting on these footways will be resumed as soon as adequate salt supplies are available again, starting with those at the top of the priority list.
Now, I understand that in the photo I sent them the dented railing stands on a footway, but this doesn’t mean that the cars that hit on that spot were traveling on the footpath!
I really didn’t think this needed explaining. You can never take anything for granted.
Anyway, I replied to the Highways officers clarifying that it’s the road, not the pathway, that I’m advocating gritting. I also made a stronger and more explicit case and ended with a question, because I’d really like an answer.
It is a surprisingly trafficked road for pedestrians as it’s on the route to Hither Green Station for those coming from the Courthill Road side of Hither Green, so although technically a backstreet it’s a proven accident spot for cars and has substantial pedestrian flow.
Isn’t this reason enough for gritting the road in that point so that cars don’t skid and potentially hurt someone that’s passing by?