Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Council grit supplies run low in West Yorkshire

Gritters
Kirklees Council has 300 tonnes of grit left

A council responsible for a part of West Yorkshire hit by freezing weather says it only has enough salt left to grit the main roads four more times.

Nearly 170 schools in Kirklees are shut because of icy conditions.

David Sheard, cabinet member for highways at Kirklees Council, said stocks were especially low because of bad weather on Wednesday.

Conservative councillor Martyn Bolt is calling for a review into future winter maintenance in the area.

The majority of the county's school closures are in Kirklees with another 30 shut elsewhere.

Mr Sheard said the council had 300 tonnes of grit left, which was enough to grit primary roads twice a day for two days.

The public in Kirklees and at large don't think councils are doing a great job
Councillor Martyn Bolt

"What we need to do is we've got to argue for more and more grit. I've heard a report that Leeds has got enough grit for 14 days on a full grit and we're down to priority roads.

"If we don't start sharing and helping each other out I don't know where we go."

Mr Sheard added: "We thought we were better yesterday but the ice caught us out and we had to keep gritting during the night and that put stocks down."

Drivers warned

Mr Bolt, who is calling for an independent review, said he thought the council could do things better in the future.

"There is a need for a review. The public in Kirklees and at large don't think councils are doing a great job and we have to consider that."

Icy roads forced walkers to crawl in Holmfirth

Up to one inch of snow has fallen in rural parts across the region overnight with motorists being warned about difficult driving conditions.

West Yorkshire Police said it had been inundated with calls about untreated roads.

Police are reminding the public that responsibility for the gritting of roads lies with the local authority.

On Wednesday, black ice caused massive travel disruption and a number of accidents across the county, including a taxi plummeting down an embankment in Huddersfield and on to a factory roof.

David Murgett, headteacher of Holmfirth Junior School, was forced to crawl across one icy road in order to get to school to alert parents that it would be closed.

"Given the slope of the hill my body just started moving down hill so the only way I got across was to get low down and to use all fours and literally crawl across."



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