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Here's what ESCC Highways are saying...

On 22 Dec 2009 at 9:47am akaHighways wrote:
Don't spend any time emailing Highways - here's the standard response that they're sending out today!
Winter Maintenance
Thanks for your e-mail dated XX December concerning the above.
We are fully committed to keeping the roads and pavements as safe as possible for the travelling public. Whenever ice or snow is forecasted, we pre-treat over 800 miles of our road network with salt to reduce the potential for ice forming on the road surface.
The pre-treated routes comprise all the major roads across the county and include a significant number of interlinking minor roads to ensure that the strategic network is passable. It is not possible to treat all roads across the county as this is both impractical and would prejudice our ability to keep the main roads as safe as possible. This means that many of our minor roads and estate roads will not be treated unless we suffer prolonged snow fall, and then only after the above routes have been covered. It is incumbent on vehicle drivers to drive to the conditions of the road regardless of whether the roads have been pre-salted or not.
In accordance with the Local Government Code of Good Practice, the network of roads routinely pre-salted (our standard routes) is based on the hierarchy of the busiest traffic routes in the county. A standard route is planned to take account of the capacity of the lorry and to be completed within 3 hours to ensure minimal disruption to traffic and to allow the salt to be spread consistently. All of our gritters are currently running at capacity in terms of routing. This means that we cannot include roads that do not meet the pre-salting criteria as it may then take considerably longer to complete the standard routes.
We do undertake hand salting of pavements where resources permit but this is only undertaken when we are absolutely certain that the roads are clear. In times of persistent snowfall or extreme temperatures, this does mean that pavements may not be treated. For this reason, we provide a number of salt bins at known trouble spots where difficulties may arise because of ice or snow and, where stocks have become depleted, we will refill these as soon as possible. Our aim is to re-fill them today
(21 December) but, given that this is dependent upon available resources some may be filled tomorrow.

I know the above may be disappointing to you, but hopefully it does explain our policy and shows the commitment to the safe passage of highway users in East Sussex.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 9:59am i dont live in lewes... wrote:
As ESCC are championing people to walk more and to leave their cars at home maybe they should pay more attention to gritting the pavements and car parks in town centres.
Not much point in keeping major routes open when you're going to break you're bloody neck getting out of the car at the other end.
Nice to know they hand salt pavements where *resources permit*. Obviously resources aren't permitting so let's get rid of a few layers of upper management and free up those resources before it snows again Eh?
On 22 Dec 2009 at 11:41am Geoff wrote:
Well that just a very poor e-mail isn't it? Seems authoratitive at first, but says nothing that actually addresses the reality of what we have all witnessed. Its a tactic used by many Councils. Part one, try and fob the complaint off. I would e-mail back and ask if the A27 is included as one of their high priority routes (It wasn't gritted before the predicted blizzard) and since ESCC have admittted they should be refilling salt bins, ask when they were last refilled, because this is the first snow in almost a year, and the bins near me were all empty.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 11:52am MonkeySeeMonkeyDo wrote:
Disappointing ESCC! They removed the salt bins near my home quite a few years ago and our road can be treacherous, a steep slope and only one other route out. Yes it can be amusing watching fools in cars taking a good run up and failing miserably - the sad site of a car and its passengers inevitably sliding backwards to the bottom again (though I would not want anyone to get hurt.) A big shout out and THANK YOU to a couple of lads in a big blue truck who decided to clear the road themselves but it SHOULD NOT be up to the public to do this. ESCC provide more full salt bins in areas that you won't go to, at least give us that for our money.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 12:29pm wanderer wrote:
you can ask for the proof that your road was gritted as all vehicles should have a wizme tracker onboard for that reason
On 22 Dec 2009 at 12:50pm Firebird wrote:
Funny that is the e-mail I got from ESCC! I sent another asking for my questions to be answered rather than getting a standard reply, and asking for grit bins. The response was that they would be filling grit bins when they could, unfortunately they didn't seem to grasp the fact that we haven't got a bin to fill!!!! Another e-mail was sent, and their response was to send me a leaflet absolving themselves of all responsibility and telling me that I would have to apply to LDC for one! Pass the buck time me thinks!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr
On 22 Dec 2009 at 1:11pm Onlooker. wrote:
Here is the page about gritting on the ESCC website.
(With the double Us in front....)
Halfway down it says in the 'Salt bins' part,that ESCC are not responsible for all the bins and if we want a bin to get in touch with Lewes Town Council.
A link is provided.
First address is in Ballard Drive in Ringmer and a phone number is given.
I rang the number and a man answered and he knew nothing about it.
The address was correct though....
I want a grit bin and want to know the best people to talk to.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 1:24pm Onlooker. wrote:
I need to get in touch with Steve Brigdon from Lewes Town Council.
I shall ring him after 2.00 when he returns from lunch.
You have to apply for a bin and they let you know.
Will update when I have more information.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 1:44pm Town Centre Resident wrote:
I would like to know from your 'friends' at ESCC when they last filled the bins in the Town Centre. You 'could' have used any of them,even though you don't have one at the moment, but they were empty from day one. Maybe LTC should be asking why 'their' bins had not been filled? We couldn't even help ESCC out by doing their job for them. If you focus on the basic question of when they last filled bins, they will eventually have to tell you, and I suspect the answer will indicate how incompetent they have been. If they won't tell you, make it an FOI request. They obviously had some grit somewhere, and were happy to use it in their car park,. No one expects perfection, but I can't find anyone anywhere who did have grit in a bin, or had their road gritted....apart from the ESCC car park!
On 22 Dec 2009 at 1:59pm Onlooker wrote:
I seem to recall last year there was a rumour that there was a shortage of grit.
I seem to recall hearing the same this year...
Does anyone know anything about this?
Plus,ESCC are not responsible for filling the bins.They do,if the town council pays them to.That also is on the page I gave earlier from the ESCC website.
I shall be ringing Steve Brigdon shortly.
Maybe if we barrage him with questions something will be done.
All I want is a well needed grit bin on a lethal footpath and set of steps very near my home,that is still lethal and has been totally impassable for the last few days.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 3:17pm Onlooker. wrote:
I have just got off the phone with the Town Clerk.Who very kindly and patiently answered all my questions and told me a lot I didn't know about how things work on the council.The grit bins are a complicated issue!
He said the best thing to do is write or E mail the Highways Dept at County Hall,St Annes Crescent saying where you would like the grit bin and why.
It would be better if any heads of residential associations involved (IE,Nevill,Landport etc) composed a 'collective' E mail,rather than individuals sending lots of mails,which would take time to sort.Then they will be considered at the next meeting.With any luck we may get some bins by next winter.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 3:33pm Taff wrote:
Surely this is just 'them' hiding behind a piece of protocol they have contrived themselves. We pay out taxes why shouldnt we have these facilities available when needed. Sounds like some self preservation budget manipulating goings on to me.
I wonder how much more revenue could have been created if vehicles were able to get in to town and use the parking spaces. Before you all have a go I am aware that parking revenue does not go to our local council.
On 22 Dec 2009 at 4:31pm Town Centre residnet wrote:
So if the Town Council are responsible for filling the bins (that were empty until after it snowed, when was the last request to fill them, and how did they manage to get some at ESCC County hall, while we were all risking life and limp on a hilly ice rink??
On 22 Dec 2009 at 5:57pm Twit In The Twittens wrote:
There used to be grit boxes in Broommans Lane and other Twittens but they have been removed in recent years and not replaced. Considering these are main pedestrian links from the High Street, it is incredible that pedestrian safety is compromised by ESCC. It's hardly any wonder that pedestrians recently felt the need to negotiate the road in Station Street.
IMO, a nincompoop award should be publically endowed upon ESCC.
(sorry for posting twice)
On 22 Dec 2009 at 6:19pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I was discussing the lack of gritting with a neighbour who's an ex-ESCC employee, and asked if she could remember when the routine gritting of the Nevill stopped. She reckoned it was when a South Way resident ceased to be a county councillor and member of the Highways and Transportation Committee!
On 22 Dec 2009 at 6:31pm SAR wrote:
I wonder whether they grit Rosalyn St Pierre's road?
On 22 Dec 2009 at 9:55pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
If it is ANY consolation at all ....it seems most county and metropilitan councils have followed the same policy - keep main roads clear and forget everywhere else. All the pavements I saw whilst out of town today in Surrey and Croydon areas were also iced up and saw several pedestrians slipping. Amazingly my colleagues in the States say there is two foot of snow in DC but all running normally. We get six inches and can't cope. Sad.
On 23 Dec 2009 at 8:07am Taff wrote:
What would be wrong if we all decided NOT to pay our council taxes?
Every one of us.
Why pay for services that will not be provided?
On 23 Dec 2009 at 8:07am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
That's because they get a lot more practice, and can be reasonably sure of getting a fair amount of snow every winter, so can justify the investment on equipment etc.
Here, we have gone several years with no significant snowfall in the south (although recent winters seem to have got snowier).
On 23 Dec 2009 at 9:13am Fat Bottomed Girl wrote:
Global warming? My (considerably larger than ACT's) unfeasibly large ar$e!
On 23 Dec 2009 at 9:36am Scientist wrote:
ignorant lard arse
On 9 Jan 2010 at 7:44pm eagleman wrote:
not been gritted in since irst snow fell in bishopstone lorry goes to top of road spins round island goes back down again used to past years hence stuck here until thaw sets in they just dont care as lot of old people up here as well

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