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Emergency plans to save supplies of grit as freeze goes on

AS the big freeze continues, Solihull Council has revealed emergency plans to conserve grit.

AS the big freeze continues, Solihull Council has revealed emergency plans to conserve grit.

The local authority has already been told by the Government to cut its usage by a quarter.

At the start of the week, bosses said they could no longer respond to requests to grit streets outside the borough’s main road network.

And the council is now bracing to make further reductions if necessary.

In a worst case scenario, gritting lorries would be visiting 60 per cent less roads from this weekend onwards.

Chief executive Mark Rogers has said this was not the result of a local shortage, but the fact that supplies were dwindling nationwide.

As the Solihull News went to press, it seemed likely that only A and B roads would be treated from tomorrow (Saturday).

In addition, the council has stopped refilling grit bins over the past few days.

Only last week, the authority had said it was having to replenish the roadside bins twice a week and warned residents not to use stocks to grit private land.

Lorely Burt, Solihull MP, said: “With the inclement weather over the past few days it has become ever more apparent how valuable these bins can be in certain areas.”

The MP had already hit out at a council decision to slash the number of bins by half.

Jan Mason, from Silhill, is among the disgruntled residents - she said that conditions were perilous on Shustoke Road

“I’m worried because a lot of elderly and vulnerable people live nearby and I haven’t seen much of them recently, I imagine they’re too scared to go out on the ice.”

In an online statement, the council said: “We do sympathise with people who are travelling around the borough in the current exceptionally bad weather, however do hope you will understand our reasons for taking this course of action.”

* Updates on the grit situation are being issued regularly at www.solihull.gov.uk.

 

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