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Winter gritting routes survey is extended
RESIDENTS have been given more time to air their views on proposals to change York’s gritting routes this winter, amid claims many roads will not be treated in severe weather and dozens of vital salt bins will be lost.
A city-wide consultation on a planned shake-up of the gritting network, which would see some roads no longer being classed as “primary routes” for treatment, has been extended by two weeks by City of York Council. It will now run until September 15.
The Labour-run authority said £60,000 must be cut from gritting costs, but all key routes will be treated when necessary.
The council’s Liberal Democrat group said some streets which could be removed from the primary network and may lose salt bins are close to schools, popular shopping areas and have steep slopes. It also claimed the consultation was timed to coincide with the school holidays.
The council has developed new criteria for which roads should be gritted and where salt bins should be placed. York has about 400 bins, and the authority said the plans would see the number funded by its highways department rise from 145 to 158.
Coun David Levene, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “This review has enabled us to make the savings made necessary by reduced Government funding, while, for the first time since 1996, drawing up a clear, fair, transparent policy on salt bin placement and our grit network.
“We need to ensure we provide the best possible service to residents and businesses which is why their views are so important and will help guide our decision.”
Lib Dem leader Coun Keith Aspden said winter maintenance had already suffered cuts and the gritting review was “yet another attack on basic street-level services”.
Former council leader Andrew Waller said roads near shops, schools and elderly people's homes in west York would lose salt bins while large stretches of a bus route would be removed from the primary gritting network.
The consultation is at york.gov.uk/wintermaintenance, with feedback going before a meeting on October 9.
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