VILLAGE roads across rural Cheshire were left in ‘lethal’ condition in the recent freeze, according to parish councillors.
Now they want to have a say on where gritting is concentrated after claims Cheshire County Council missed important routes.
Cllr Graham Lees told Tarporley Parish Council’s meeting on Monday: “Birch Heath Road is used by the emergency services. Ambulances come down there from Tattenhall to get into the village. There is no way they could have gone down there on Monday safely, it was just lethal.”
Councillors complained that many of the roads used to be gritted and now are now being missed out.
Parish councillor Tim Hill said : “In Lancashire and, I believe, Scotland councils have set up schemes involving farmers who attach snow ploughs to tractors and clear the roads. I wonder if a similar one could be set up for gritting.”
County Councillor Andrew Needham explained that the council can grit only priority routes.
Gritting routes come up for review in the summer, and the parish council will ask the new council if they can be consulted.
The Tarporley concerns were mirrored in other areas.
Tattenhall parish councillor Pat Black said: “I understand the canal bridge and railway bridge in Tattenhall were horrendous during the cold snap.
“I think the council would definitely get involved and have our say on which roads are gritted.”
Tarvin parish chairman David Cotgreave said: “I think those were every exceptional circumstances last week, and not the sort of weather conditions that are likely regularly.
“It was very icy, and those who went out did have to be extremely careful. The main roads were gritted, but many of the smaller roads were not.
“I think if there was a consultation, and we were asked which roads should be gritted, then I am sure the council would want to express our view.”
Barrow Parish Council chairman Peter Dobbs said some roads in Barrow were impassible.
“One of the main problems was bin lorries couldn’t get round. They came into the centre of the village but just left after that.
“I think for the elderly it was an extremely difficult time.
“I think if we could have some input it would definitely be useful, and something we would want to do.”