'Our roads need grit before the frosts hit': say residents of Northampton streets affected by gritting route axe

Parliamentary candidate Sally Keeble, left, gathers names on a gritting route petition, which has now been sent to the county council.
Parliamentary candidate Sally Keeble, left, gathers names on a gritting route petition, which has now been sent to the county council.

Residents angry with gritting cutbacks on key roads in Northampton are calling on the county council to rethink the decision.

A series of petitions sent into the authority have been signed by around 100 people from Acre Lane, Birchfield Road East, Spinney Hill Road and The Headlands, which have been cut out of the schedule for preventive gritting this winter.

The county council made the decision to axe some 200 miles from its pre-gritting routes in October in order to save £475,000 this financial year.

Labour's candidate for Northampton North, Sally Keeble, gathered the names on the petition because she said people were seriously worried about the impending icy conditions.

The petition calls for the roads to be reinstated on the preventative routes so they can be pre-treated when ice or snow is forecasted.

She said: "All of these four roads are bus routes. Both Acre Lane and Spinney Hill Road have schools on them, and in Spinney Hill Road there are already real problems with traffic when the children come in and out of school.

“People in Birchfield Road East complained about recent accidents and are concerned about safety if there are problems with frost this winter.

"They’re especially worried because of the number of emergency vehicles that use the road. Both The Headlands and Spinney Hill road have hills. And in Acre Lane people expressed concerns about the safety of traffic turning into the community centre.

“These aren’t the only roads where there are particular risks, and colleagues and I will be visiting others.

“These cuts might be penny wise, but they’re pound foolish when it comes to public safety. The county council needs to think again about which roads it is dropping from its schedule.”

If you live on the roads and want to sign the online petition, which is still running, click here