Ian Yuill

Liberal Democrat councillor for Mannofield, Airyhall, Braeside, Broomhill, Garthdee, Kaimhill and Ruthrieston Learn more

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Pavement and road gritting – complete review needed

by Ian Yuill on 24 December, 2017

Photo of icy pavementAfter people’s experiences during the recent cold weather, with many pavements left ungritted days after snow fell, I believe there must be a full review of the council’s pavement and road gritting operations.

Throughout the cold spell I was contacted by residents who were annoyed that pavements were very icy with no sign that they had ever been gritted. This included pavements on residential side roads and main routes such as Great Western Road, Broomhill Road and Holburn Street. Several people told me they felt trappws in thir own homes whilst others told me they had been hurt after slipping and falling.

I urged council staff to grit each of the icy pavements about which people contacted me.  I also contacted the senior manager responsible for gritting and snow clearing asking why it is taking so long to grit / salt pavements when there has not been any real snowfall for several days.

One of the biggest limitations on how quickly the council staff can treat roads and pavements is the amount of snow clearing equipment that the council has. This is a particular problem for treating pavements where the council has only a limited amount of equipment. My view is that the council should invest in more pavement gritters / ploughs so that it can more quickly spread grit/salt on pavements in cold weather. My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have proposed just that on a number of occasions in recent years but sadly Conservative, Labour and SNP councillors have consistently rejected our proposals.

My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I will continue to make the case for more investment in pavement gritters / ploughs so that icy pavements can be gritted and cleared of snow and icy more quickly in future.


15 Responses

  1. john flood says:

    it would help if there were grit bins/bags placed strategically so we could help ourselves.

  2. Pat Findlay says:


    I wholeheartedly agree with you comments above. I am retired but a reasonably fit person but I slipped & fell on 2 occasions while the pavements were not gritted.

  3. W J Mair says:

    During the recent icy spell the pavements of Braeside Terrace and pavements over a wide area of the west end appear to have had NO attention at all. I would like to know if a programme exists and if so how is it supposed to work. I noticed that one day two road gritters went up our street within about 10 minutes of each other. Even if one of them was not gritting what were two such vehicles doing in the same area at the same time? It seems to suggest that in fact there is no programme.
    I do not know how many pavement gritters the council has but if each one runs at say 5 miles per hour( a little over walking speed ) and assuming a 30 hour week that represents 150 miles per week. In my opinion the total miles should be much higher.
    I myself almost slipped although treading very gingerly having suffered a broken ankle about 5 years ago on an untreated pavement at my door. On returning home after 4 days in hospital I had to negotiate the same untreated surface –on crutches!
    Unfortunately ensuring the safety of residents seems to be a low priority.
    I look forward to hearing what information you can glean on the subject from the responsible officials.

    Have a safe Xmas
    W J Mair

  4. Jim Maitland says:

    Hi Ian,
    Many thanks for your e-mail.
    You make mention of “a full review of the Council’s pavement and road gritting operations”. That would presume that there already exists such a document/policy.
    This is the second year running that I have had to contact you on this subject. I fully appreciate that you have done your best.
    The classic for me was that my wife upon looking out the window at around seven am on the Saturday announced that the gritter had just gone up our street and down the other side. You can imagine my amazement when upon venturing out I saw no trace of sand nor grit.
    Do the Council not take into account the obvious extra cost and work to NHS Grampian at an already stressful period.I saw a report on TV that over a given period they had treated three times as many patients as normal. Mostly attributable to falls and many of these being elderly people.
    Best wishes to you and yours for the festive period, how sad me sitting here sending this on Christmas Day.

    Kind regards,

  5. Barbara mackie says:

    In an ideal world where equipment & cash were readily available to treat icy pavements, I would agree that it is the responsibility of the Council to maintain safe residential pavements in icy conditions. However in cash restricting times, we could ALL take on the job of clearing the pavements outside our homes ( assuming we are fit to do so). Government initiatives & advertising + provision of sand bunkers could encourage us all to fulfill our public duty during winter months. This happens throughout Europe! Residents treat their own patch!

    • Ian Yuill says:

      It would certainly be a real help if those who are able to could clear the pavement in front of their home. Many people do this already (including me) but the more who do so, the better.

  6. A. INNES says:

    As normal a total disgrace. There was an article in the local press by the council in the autumn stating they had all the equipment, salt and sand and were prepared for every eventuality. Another useless exercise by our council.

  7. Diane Leslie says:

    Hi Ian
    I live in Ruthrieston Andes you are aware we have faced the same difficulties over this cold spell.
    I have been unsuccessful in locating our sandboxes, if you point out to me where they are I’ll happily collect enough to treat our pathway and pavement.
    Many thanks
    D Leslie

  8. John Atkinson says:

    It is all very well to suggest that we clear the pavement outside our houses. Snow is no problem but ice is another matter. I spent two hours hacking at the ice outside my house and cleared about one square meter. There used to be a grit bin in my street (Salisbury Terrace) but this was removed some time ago. If there had been one I would happily have spread grit outside my house and my less able neighbours / empty properties. This would still leave the roads some of which have had the characteristics of skating rinks made worse by the numerous potholes and speed restraints. Could someone clarify the legal position re DIY ice/snow clearance. According to various media (such as the BBC and daily papers) one could be sued if someone sustains injury and can show that it was attributable to one’s less than perfect work.

    • Ian Yuill says:

      Mr Atkinson

      I completely agree that it can be very difficult to clear ice from a pavement.

      I would be happy to ask for a grit bin to be provided at Salisbury Terrace. Is there any particular location you would prefer?

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