Labour councillors call for urgent review of gritting regime after weekend snow fall

Barnet's Labour councillors are calling for a review of the new gritting regime following this weekend's snow fall.

Councillors received a number of complaints from residents about the lack of gritting on lots of Barnet roads and pavements despite the cold weather warning. The snow led to parts of the borough being left at a standstill with roads blocked by abandoned buses and cars - this included a bus blocking North End Road in NW11, vehicles unable to use Cat Hill in East Barnet and nothing moving in High Barnet.

Conservative-run Barnet Council has controversially relocated their gritting operation outside the borough at a depot in Harrow, and as a result has had to arrange for a satellite site at the M1 Gateway services to try and deal with the anticipated problems. In particular, the depot move has led to longer journey times for gritting vehicles having to travel greater distances in adverse weather conditions.

Labour's Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said: “Thanks are due to our hardworking staff who as always have done a great job in challenging conditions. Unfortunately, they are having to operate under much more difficult circumstances now that the gritting operation is based in a depot outside of the borough in Harrow.

"We need an urgent review of how these new gritting operations and routes worked in their first real test since the move to Harrow and how performance next time can be improved.

"We are aware of a number of complaints from residents about some roads not being gritted and that the Council was not prepared for this anticipated snowfall. I will be asking for a report on this to come to the next Environment Committee."

Ends.

Notes:

A link to the winter gritting operational changes can be found here:  http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s42126/Winter%20Gritting%20Operational%20Changes.pdf

For more information contact:

Cllr Alan Schneiderman: cllr.a.schneiderman@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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