Dec 12 2012 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
North Lanarkshire Council gritter
North Lanarkshire Council have responded to widespread criticism of the state of Monklands’ roads during the recent cold snap.
The Advertiser has been inundated by calls and messages from angry road users bemoaning driving conditions.
Last Friday was particularly treacherous, with overnight rain blamed for washing away grit from the roads
Graham MacKay, head of roads and transportation, said: “Low temperatures were forecast throughout last week and primary and secondary routes were gritted regularly.
“Some footpaths and lower priority roads were also gritted.
“Due to the heavy rain on Thursday much of the residual salt was washed away and this was followed by freezing conditions overnight on Thursday.
“We had to concentrate efforts on retreating all primary routes that night and recognise that ice did form on other road surfaces. On Friday morning we again had to retreat primary routes and start treating secondary routes.”
Advertiser readers Amanda Nicholl, Tracey Anne Richardson and Brian Gilmour’s complaints were typical of the feelings expressed by dozens of people on our Facebook page.
Amanda said: “I have already made a complaint to the council in writing as the footpaths at Russell Street and Honeywell Crescent are a disgrace but apparently not a priority.”
Tracy Anne added: “OK, we understand that main roads, schools and hospitals are a priority and some main routes have been done but in order to get on to the main roads you have to get out of your street first.”
Brian said: “Kippen Street, as always, has been like an ice rink.
“Gritters consistently ignore it, despite the heavy traffic using the street as a shortcut to avoid traffic lights on Deedes Street.”
The council say procedures are in place to help people drive safely during any further freezing conditions.
Mr MacKay added: “Our main priority is to treat primary routes, which are classified roads, main bus routes, main roads in the vicinity of schools and access roads to hospitals or other essential services, and these will be gritted first.
“If the cold weather continues our gritting teams will move to secondary routes, including roads to villages and rural communities and main roads into residential and industrial areas.
“During the winter it is inevitable that driving conditions will be more difficult and we ask drivers to take extra care and drive according to the road and weather conditions at all times.”