'I'm waiting to find out if it's a write off or not': Pregnant woman hit by bin-lorry on un-gritted road speaks out

A mum-to-be has said the county council is putting pressure on the NHS by not gritting the roads in Northampton.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 11:19 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:05 pm
Pictures show the extent of the damage in the aftermath of the incident.
Pictures show the extent of the damage in the aftermath of the incident.

Pregnant Sara Budd, 27, of Ash Rise has been left to pick up the pieces after her grey Renault Clio was crashed into yesterday (January 24) by a bin lorry travelling towards her on the ice.

The expectant mum had just left home at 8am and was heading to work, via Obelisk Rise, when the incident took place which left her car with a broken wing mirror, a shattered driver's side window and two damaged doors.

She told the Chronicle & Echo: "I left my house onto Oblesik Rise and there was a bin lorry coming towards me.

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The Clio could be a write off.

"I think I tried to get up on the grass verge a bit and it hit side on.

"It skidded on the black ice and that's one of the roads that the council decided not to grit this year."

She is waiting to find out whether her car is a write-off.

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The mum-to-be is driving a courtesy car to-and-from-work at the moment.

The council revealed last year that its fleet would be reducing the number of roads it will grit from October 2018 and taking longer to attend to them.

Some roads that would have been treated when temperatures are forecast to fall to 0.5 degrees Celsius have been downgraded in priority, which include Obelisk Rise.

These roads will now only be treated when sub-zero conditions are set to last 48 hours or more.

And about 500 grit bins across the county - 30 in Northampton- that were filled by the council during the big freeze last year will be either removed or left to the community to replenish.

"He had no hope of controlling it at all," Sara added. "I did not really understand what was going on."

"It was not a fast impact - it was probably going 15-20 miles per hour and I think because it was a big lorry, it did so much damage.

"I'm waiting to find out if it's going to be a write-off or not. Everyone I have spoken to has said it's really, really bad."

Sara, who is expecting her first baby in April, said her first concern was to go to the hospital to make sure they were both okay.

"That was my obvious concern yesterday.

"We spent half the day at the hospital being checked out - they were happy with everything, but you just never know.

"I think there were numerous accidents yesterday. They [the county council] are saving money by not gritting the roads but in the hospital yesterday there were people who fell over so I feel they are putting the cost on the NHS really... and that was the first day of ice."

Speaking of the bin-lorry driver, she said: "He was the most apologetic person ever and he had no control. It was not his fault in any way."

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The council grits over 1,543km of roads across the county and has a finite gritting resource which needs to be applied in the most effective way.“Therefore a gritting network comprising the busiest roads and those linking communities are gritted as a priority.

“In order to meet our financial challenges the Winter Service was reviewed with changes brought in this financial year.

“All of the routes removed from the precautionary, priority one network were added to what is known as the adverse, priority two network – the roads which are only treated in extreme adverse weather.

“Our gritting routes are clearly publicised, but regardless of whether a road is gritted or not, we advise motorists to take extreme care when driving in icy conditions.”