Snow and icy weather conditions, which made driving on side roads treacherous and walking on pavements dangerous, have prompted a survey on the number of gritting bins in the town and their locations. The issue was raised by councillor Katy Pritchard at a meeting of Crewkerne Town Council, after the first blast of Siberian type weather conditions experienced at the beginning of March. Councillor Katy Pritchard said: “This needs to be discussed and we need to look into where the gritting bins are and possibly providing more for the future, in view of the recent snow and ice situation on roads, that weren’t main roads.” The proposal was seconded by councillor Mike Best with all councillors in agreement that the issue of gritting bins in Crewkerne, needed further investigation.
Although Crewkerne was not alone in experiencing the severe weather conditions, as main roads and motorways throughout the country ground to a halt, when the big thaw began on March 3rd, main routes previously gritted by Highways cleared much quicker than the roads which had not been treated. Many residents living off of main roads were unable to leave their homes for several more days, due to the melting snow and freezing rain making driving and walking conditions extremely difficult and dangerous in places.
The second blast of sub zero temperatures and heavy snow fall on Saturday March 17th and into Sunday, highlighted the importance of having more grit-salt bins in the town. Many B roads and pavements were described as ‘sheets of ice’ on the Monday morning until the sun broke through the clouds around lunchtime and speeded up the thawing process.
Grit-Salt bins could be seen at numerous locations in Crewkerne many years ago but are now a much rarer sight. The remaining grit-salt bins in the town are now empty and need to be replenished before the next blast of sub zero temperatures and snow arrives, which the Met Office have forecast at Easter.