by Ian Yuill on 12 January, 2018
I was contacted by many residents about the problems with gritting pavements during the recent icy weather. People told me about slips and falls they had had on icy pavements, whilst others told me they or their relatives felt trapped in their homes because they did not believe the pavements were safe.
Whenever I was contacted about a particular pavement I reported that to the council’s staff and urged that that pavement was gritted as soon as possible.
I also contacted the council’s Roads Infrastructure Manager, the senior manager responsible for snow clearing and gritting, and asked a number of questions. I have now received a reply from him and you can read my questions and his answers to those questions below:
1. Is any information available on the cost to the NHS in Aberdeen of treating and providing care for people who have slipped and been injured on icy pavements?
None at present.
2. Would it not make overall financial sense to the public sector for investment in pavement gritting to be increased so as to reduce the cost to the NHS of treating people injured by slipping on icy pavements?
The conditions encountered during this two week spell was of wet snow turning to ice overnight and then 10 days of ice melt during the day along with the refreezing of the surface due to the low overnight temperatures, this made the operation of the distributed salt from the footpath plough less than effective. Salt requires to be turned into a brine solution to be effective in melting ice, in these low temperature conditions this was not happening. An increase in resources of even 10 fold would not have been sufficient to cover the 2000km of footpath within the first few hours of snowfall.
3. Does the council recognise the impact being trapped in their homes has on people who are unable to leave their homes because they cannot navigate icy pavements?
The council are aware and during the last period of severe weather made arrangements for assistance to be provided for those requiring assistance with food, medical requirements, etc.
4. What, if any, provision does the council make to support vulnerable people who are unable to leave their homes because they cannot navigate icy pavements?
5. Is any information available on the negative impact on local businesses (shops in particular) in Aberdeen resulting from their customers’ inability to reach them because of the icy condition of many pavements?
No information to date, there has been no mention on social media or press that this has been a problem.11 Comments