To think that the council should grit the pavements as well?

(66 Posts)
IceyNicey Sat 26-Jan-13 18:38:54

DP thinks AIBU.

We live in a cul de sac and tbf the road has been gritted (first time in years!) and we have been able to get in/out in the cars fine.

But the pavements are really bad everywhere, its really hard to walk safely. I saw council workers spreading grit on the pavements by the shops the other day but what about all of the rest of them? Everywhere is really hard to get around, people are falling over or having to walk in the road.

Hassled Sat 26-Jan-13 18:42:04

It's been so insane around here recently that people are just walking in the roads all the time. I'm with you - I know there are grit bins dotted around but there's a huge reliance on people's ability to get the grit out and use it. The people who live nearest the bin can't necessarily be arsed or be able to do the right thing.

ReallyTired Sat 26-Jan-13 18:48:21

In Germany its complusory to clear snow outside your house or pay for someone else to do it. I don't think its reasonable for councils to grit every single pavement, especially if its a cul de sac. Our road hasn't even been gritted. There are bigger priorities like the M25 and M1 rather than our quiet little street.

YANBU I have balance problems so really struggle in snow or ice but at the same time have a child and can't just stay in constantly.

There's no way I would be able to shovel grit either.

inchoccyheaven Sat 26-Jan-13 18:50:20

I agree with you, our pavements have been so icy and I certainly didn't feel safe walking on them and trying to push a buggy on them when they were still snowy was incredibly hard.

Beamur Sat 26-Jan-13 18:50:54

It would cost a fortune - would you be willing to pay more council tax?
Not very environmentally friendly either.
It is a nuisance, but usually fairly short lived.

floweryblue Sat 26-Jan-13 18:50:59

If pavements were gritted more people would be able to get out and about without cars, which may be safer.

I was once caught out by snow at an industrial estate out of town. Walking to town in blizzard like conditions was a long job but fairly easy as we could use the grass verge and the actual road was closed. As soon as I hit the town centre though, the pavements were treacherous and the going much, much slower and more dangerous.

ILoveTIFFANY Sat 26-Jan-13 18:51:49


All the pavements in the country? What if they miss a bit and someone slips?

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 26-Jan-13 18:54:48

So much easier if the paths are just cleared.

If everyone who was able did, (and did their neighbours who couldn't too) there would be no issue at all, without the councils having to spend hundreds of thousands at a time when they are cutting basic services....

Personally I don't like gritted paths. I find it very difficult to push the pushchair through slush so I'm not sure how wheelchairs would manage.

nah, get some yaktrax to put over your shoes, they're amazing shock

lljkk Sat 26-Jan-13 18:57:21

What Beamur said (& TIFFANY).

I dunno if there isn't a bit of hysteria about this. DS has been running to school & back (half mile each way) on the icy & snowy pavements. Wearing different pair of shoes each time. Another mum was shrieking at her own same age child "You can't run, you'll fall!*" as DS shot past.

DS almost never falls, never gets truly hurt if he does slip. I don't know why. He's bashed his head 4x something spectacular in last 2 days in his bedroom but solid ice pavements are no challenge.

*Yes in fact I do know the other boy doesn't have relevant SN or history, his mum just thought things were too icy for anyone to be safe. Except my maniac kids, maybe.

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 18:58:09

They do here.

merryberry Sat 26-Jan-13 18:58:55

ours were all gritted (islington). first toime i've seen that happen. was great.

floweryblue Sat 26-Jan-13 18:59:11

I understand there is a limit to what the council can afford to grit but on busy town centre pavements, the heavily trodden snow turns to ice much more quickly than in less trodden paths (well that is my experience anyway). I agree we all need to try to be responsible for our residential areas, when we lived in a street DP and some others tried to make it safe, now that we live in the middle of nowhere, DP is in charge of our drive and walking me down the tracks outside our house to the road where I get the bus (which doesn't run anyway if we have more than a sprinkle, but we are in an area with very rare snow).

CCC1 Sat 26-Jan-13 18:59:27

It comes down to whether people are happy to pay for it through increased council tax and whether the costs of treating people for breaks and fractures outweigh the costs of actually clearing pavements. My authority spends 3m pa on winter gritting in a rural county of over 5,000 miles of gritting routes. I'd imagine doing the pavements as well would incur prohibitively expensive costs - especially as I'd imagine you'd need significant manpower to do it: you couldn't do it with a lorry, could you? You'd need a workforce and an enormous supply of grit. Deploying them would be a problem too, as there's a bit of a science in when to put grit down, otherwise it's ineffective.

ReallyTired Sat 26-Jan-13 19:01:12

"Personally I don't like gritted paths. I find it very difficult to push the pushchair through slush so I'm not sure how wheelchairs would manage. "

Clearing the path is not a matter of throwing a bit of grit at it. It requires someone with shovel to move the snow and then use salt or grit to melt the tiny amount left. If the snow is removed when it is all nice and powery then its quite easy. It is an utter sod removing ice.

However people need to know where to put the snow so it does not become someone else's problem. Our drive is beautifully clear and the postman is perfectly safe. It makes it easy getting the car out the drive as well. I managed to clear our drive in half and hour. I haven't cleared the pavement outside our house for fear of being sued.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 26-Jan-13 19:01:32

i think you should be responsible for the path outside your house. not difficult to sprinkle some salt or grit on it. and it would help everyone.

SofaKing Sat 26-Jan-13 19:01:51


This really annoys me. I have a neurological condition which has lead to me being on steroids which have caused a risk of bone thinning.

Travelling to my bone scan I nearly fell on icy pavements three times.

I do not drive but I pay as much council tax as those who do, and am in more need of a safe place to walk because of my health.

I realise it costs money but how much does it cost to deal with the injuries of people who fall? Never mind the serious outcome for the elderly or ill.

McNewPants2013 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:03:46

The only reason main roads are gritted is so emergency services can get around.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 26-Jan-13 19:04:10

Exactly Tired. We are told NOT to use grit bins to do paths in our area, but to do our roads. But every year it seems people just chuck it on top of fresh snow or ice which makes everything worse.

If we were required to clear paths at least people would get told how to do it properly...

3littlefrogs Sat 26-Jan-13 19:10:12

When you consider the cost to the NHS and social services of all the old people who cannot get out to the shops to buy food, who fall and break their wrists and hips, then need admission to hospital, can no longer cook, feed, dress themselves and need social services help with carers and meals, it all adds up.

One of our community staff had an accident trying to get to a patient and is now in hospital.

A fall can actually be the death of an elderly person.

MrsPnut Sat 26-Jan-13 19:20:54

We live in a village and we always clear our lane when it snows (using snow shovels and throwing the snow into the play park that is opposite our house) but we are the only ones that bother in a street made up of fit and healthy people.

It does mean we can grit our lane from the grit bin and it makes it easier to move cars in and out. We also have an arrangement through the parish council that if you need help during the bad weather then you can call them and someone will come and get shopping for you or take you to appointments etc. There is a list of people who are willing to help out if needed. I have got shopping for a few people in the past few weeks and delivered it.

If you've made a decent effort to clear a path and put down grit nobody is going to be able to sue you. I've cleared about 25 metres of pavement in front of our house and neighbours three times now and gritted. It's lovely and safe grin Today my neighbour was out doing hers because her teenager wanted to go out in his car hmm I (gently I hope) pointed out that the snow she was clearing from her drive she was in danger of blocking the pavement with! I helped her move it across grin Doubtless she thinks I'm bossy but I don't really care. I've done a good job clearing paths.

Fakebook Sat 26-Jan-13 19:29:05

Yanbu. It's been hell trying to get around with the pushchair here and really dangerous as I've been walking on the road. Luckily it's been raining since last night and the ice has all gone now.

Boomerwang Sat 26-Jan-13 19:31:56

If they grit pavements and someone still slips, they'd invariably end up in a fight over 'incorrect gritting' so if they don't grit at all it's down to the weather.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 26-Jan-13 19:43:31

The actual issue is that, clearing the paths of snow is 90% of the job, but hardly anyone can be arsed to do it.

For most people it is pure laziness to make this a situation that the council needs to swoop in and resolve, when they are perfectly capable of sorting it themselves.

I was pleasantly surprised to see our pavements gritted when we had a bit of snow last week - they were icy before Christmas and we're not gritted then.

MousyMouse Sat 26-Jan-13 19:53:18

imo the property occupiers should do the job.

TidyDancer Sat 26-Jan-13 19:56:54

It's an unnecessary expense that the council shouldn't have to incur, when there are almost always people around who are capable of doing this themselves.

This is especially true of cul-de-sacs since they are not through roads that generate a lot of traffic/foot traffic from anyone other than those who live there. People need to start taking personal responsibility rather than just expecting the council to do it.

Our council grit the pavements in town and the foot brdige going into town from our end, but they only grit the roads on the bus route on our estate, certainly not all roads.

We live on a cul de sac and have never been gritted. Our road leads to another, also not gritted. It's not until you leave that 2nd street that leads to the main road to get off the estate you see any sign of grit.

CremeEggThief Sat 26-Jan-13 20:01:31

YANBU. 1.5 miles potentially four times a day is a nightmare! sad

manicinsomniac Sat 26-Jan-13 20:06:24

I think YABU, the roads are more important and it seemed to be difficult enough for them to do that. It was a day before any snow ploughs or gritters reached the main roads through my village. The side roads were never done. To think that they could have done all the pavements to is ludicrous.

I wouldn't want to do it myself either. It's only ice, just be careful. Or walk in the road if you have a problem with slipping, it's much safer.

CaptChaos Sat 26-Jan-13 20:15:46

Having lived in Germany we cleared the snow from our path and the pavement outside the house, we then put salt and grit that we had bought down.

Our bit of pavement then became an ice free oasis for people to stop and have a chat.

YABU to expect already cash strapped councils to grit pavements, when people who live in houses should be more than capable of doing it for themselves.

BumgrapesofWrath Sat 26-Jan-13 20:19:59

YABU - you do know rock salt is a finite resource, don't you?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 26-Jan-13 20:22:40

gritting the pavements would just give you a false sense of security.

Blizzardofbuzzards Sat 26-Jan-13 20:25:42

At what age/state of health/weakness would it be acceptable to say you shouldn't be expected to clear snow and ice?
I am in my early fifties. Even a couple of years ago I would have willingly tackled this job but I don't think I'd be up to it now with my various aches and pains.

Camwombat Sat 26-Jan-13 20:30:43

In our village we have volunteer gritters. They go and grit the pavements of the main pedestrian routes through the village. They also shovel snow off the footpaths.

This is an initiative run by the county council who supply all the equipment.

We still have snow, ice and slush, but have pulled out my cat boots and my yaktrax and all is good. wink

yabu to expect a council to grit all th pavements, we cleared outside our house and our neighbours and put grit down.

manicinsomniac Sat 26-Jan-13 20:40:59

Blizzardofbuzzards - I don't think anybody of any age/fitness can be expected to do it personally. I am 29 and perfectly healthy enough to have done it. But I had to get into school 2 hours early to shovel all the snow off those pathways, I work 50-70 hours a week, I'm out almost every evening, I don't own my house and we use it to sleep in and that's about it. I have no intention of taking responsbility for the bit of pavement that happens to outside it. We walk along it twice a day - carefully.

People are always going to have reasons not to do things that others think they should do.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 26-Jan-13 20:43:11

I used to live in a country that had heavy snow every winter. If you didn't get outside with a shovel and shovel/grit your bit of the pavement you would be fucking ostracised.
I am astounded that here in the UK NO-ONE does this (except me!).
FFS don't expect the council to do it-get outside and do it yourself.
Loads of older people where I live are basically stranded cos of the sheer ice on the pavements(and I have slipped twice on my arse)
If everyone did their bit of the pavement-problem solved.

manicinsomniac Sat 26-Jan-13 20:47:57

that's crazy, there are huge swathes of pavements that are nobody's! (not that any of it actually belongs ot anybody)

I live on a cul de sac that leads onto the main road through the village. Everyone in our culdesac could, theoretically, clear the ice from the pavements. But then we'd get onto the main road where there are no houses for a good 250m or so. SO what would would be the point of clearing the cludesac?!

alistron1 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:49:44

I've been ranting about this all week - it's all very well getting the roads moving but if people can't walk to/from bus stops, car parks etc what's the point? I have winter boots with fantastic grip, but some of the pavements I've encountered this week have been like polished glass. Especially those by schools.

BegoniaBampot Sat 26-Jan-13 20:49:57

can't see how the council can get round to it all. It was treacherous here the other day, was at he doctors and all these old folk were struggling in who could hardly walk so it must have been really scary and dangerous for them. Really feel for those who are elderly and vulnerable. Maybe they should advertise for everyone to clear the path in front of their house.

flossieflower Sat 26-Jan-13 20:52:15

My council HAVE both cleared and gritted the pavement outside my house (residential street).

Thank you Rutland Council!

EnjoyResponsibly Sat 26-Jan-13 20:56:03

Yaktrax are the way forward.

Cheap as chips and very effective.

But there's sure to be a reason why wearing them won't suit everyone.

Blizzardofbuzzards Sat 26-Jan-13 20:58:08

Not all houses have paths in front of them. What about flats? and the pavements that have no houses in front of them? In a lot of places this would just result in a chequered pattern of cleared and uncleared sections of pavement so not much improvement really.

ReallyTired Sat 26-Jan-13 20:59:52

I have never heard of Yaktrax before and I have just googled them. I imagine that my dopey son would forget to take them off and trash the school floors.

The problem with Yaktrax is that when the snow has half thawed you can't use them. They will be damaged if you walk over hard concete or tarmac.

MousyMouse Sat 26-Jan-13 21:00:21

blizzard you could employ a company to do it for you.
relatives in germany do just that. eithet they do it themselves or they pay for someone if they are not able to. simples.

manicinsomniac Sat 26-Jan-13 21:18:13

not that simple mousy - many of those unable to do it would be the very same peole unable to afford to pay for it either.

bluer Sat 26-Jan-13 21:18:59

No one can sue anyone whether pavement is cleared or not. You don't own the pavement therefore you're not legally responsible. That said dh and I Ste the only under fifties in our cul de sac and we're the only ones who bother to clear anything. I also do the wee granny who lives next to let's path.

discorabbit Sat 26-Jan-13 21:22:12

agree with op, it would help if there were still gritting boxes about, they took lots away here!

seen lots of old ladies sliding about on the ice recently, don't think it's too much to at least put boxes about so the public can grit their own areas.

dp did see an old bloke a few steps ahead of his wife, gritting the pavement for her to walk on, v sweet

ouryve Sat 26-Jan-13 21:26:58

Our council only manages to grit 46% of its roads. DS2 and I both have balance problems. We've managed fine over the past 2 weeks. I'm exhausted and very sore, but we're fine.

There's been days when the gritters have driven past our house every hour or two and only just kept the road clear for buses etc. The grit works best when it has the weight of vehicles grinding it in. All the same, on those days there were periods when the road was white. No way on earth would they be able to keep that up on the pavements and no way would it work when there's 4-6" of snow falling in a day. Councils are being expected by central government to make savings of tens and even hundreds of millions of pounds each over the next few years. They're hardly going to achieve that by throwing their already over strwetched resources into gritting pavements and roads that might be used b half a dozen people.

What our council does have is street wardens. They normally deal with antisocial behaviour, stray dogs, etc. They have been coming out and clearing paths from the aged miners' homes to the road. They will also do this for others who are elderly or disabled. Can't say fairer than that, really.

digerd Sat 26-Jan-13 21:37:38

Our cul-de-sac road has never been cleared by the council, but they did salt the pavements both sides of the main road. Can't remember it being so bad, nobody could walk in the road. Residents cleared the pathways < my male neighbour did mine for me, salted and gritted it>. I was very grateful.
In Germany the snow is dry and doesn't melt as remains well under freezing for months, so easy and safe to shovel and sweep. And we paid only Community rates of £75 per year which didn't rise for years.

cakebar Sat 26-Jan-13 21:44:03

Anyone who moans about the pavements who doesn't clear their own pavements has no right to moan. People are lazy. If you are not physically able, ask a neighbour and give cake/wine as a thank you. It would be so easy to make such a big difference. I find it hard to believe that many people have no one in their household able to clear fresh snow. Ice is different which is why you need to clear it when it is fresh.

Our council do provide grit bins and clear areas around shops which is helpful.

Boomerwang Sat 26-Jan-13 21:57:56

Where I live the nearest town has underground heating for the entire street. How's that for making sure nobody slips!

digerd Sun 27-Jan-13 08:22:44

Where do you live?

digerd Sun 27-Jan-13 08:24:33

Just looked at your profile - you live in SWEDEN - good for you. Knew it wasn't in the UK. What temperatures do you normally have in winter?

EllieQ Sun 27-Jan-13 10:28:54

YABU for all the reasons people have mentioned above!

The cost of getting every pavement cleared and gritted would be very high, and wouldn't really be the best use of council resources. Our council grits/ snow ploughs main roads, some bus routes, and roads near schools, GP surgeries, and the hospital. They also clear & grit pavements in the city centre. This is obviously based on levels of use.

When we had that very cold weather in 2010, the council cleared and gritted pavements on all the main roads out to the suburbs, but this obviously cost more as they were paying for more staff time.

They have now set up a volunteer snow warden arrangement where members of the public get training and equipment (shovels etc) to clear pavements when there has been snow - you could always suggest this to your council and volunteer!

parttimer79 Sun 27-Jan-13 11:48:14

We live on a very minor road - most of the neighbours clear our paths with shovels and grit them, not sure that I see it is the council's responsibility to clear every pavement in the borough.
BUT the sodding station staff/National Rail/whoever is responsible had made no effort to clear any of the station entrance, platforms or ramp yesterday and that just made my piss boil. nb this may be the pregnancy hormones but if i'd fallen I would have killed them with my bare hands...when I figured out who was responsible for doing it...

Sallyingforth Sun 27-Jan-13 12:15:43

Completely impractical to clear/grit all pavements. It would need many extra staff taken on at short notice just when it was snowing.
In my area the council has spreaders that spin the grit out so that it would cover the paths as well, but since the roads are lined with parked cars it just bounces off them back into the road.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 27-Jan-13 12:49:15

This is what frustrates me about the UK. Seriously.
Some pavement isn't outside anyone's house, so therefore there is no point clearing youw own bit of pavement?

Of COURSE some pavement isn't outside anyone's house. But lots IS. On our (long) way to school, we go past some fields-very icy path. Then we go down residential streets, also sheer ice. If people cleared their own bit, it would still make the way to school MUCH easier and safer.
And btw, you are allowed to clear bits of path etc that aren't technically right outside your house.
Maybe get together with some neighbours and do it together?

lljkk Sun 27-Jan-13 13:02:00

No pavement outside our house. Only country lane, and I am not going to clear all that. Just am not, no matter how many dog walkers like to use it.

OTTMummA Sun 27-Jan-13 13:26:30

We live right on top of a hill, we cleared the snow 3 times over 5 days whilst it was still powdery, I have back and pelvic issues but I. Knew it would really be much harder trying to walk on ice than take my time clearing fresh snow. No one else has done this except on older gentleman at the bottom of the hill on one side. I think hills should definatley be cleared and gritted. I am thinking about inventing a buggy plough, a universal attachment for buggies and prams, I'm sure that would move a lot of snow from pavements :D

jellybeans Sun 27-Jan-13 13:28:30


digerd Sun 27-Jan-13 13:39:06

Our dance teacher lives at the top of a hilly country lane and said all the residents pulled together, cleared it and gritted it. Not once was a class cancelled.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 27-Jan-13 13:47:10

Invest in a pair of these. They're brilliant.

EnjoyResponsibly Sun 27-Jan-13 18:58:41

Ho I suggested the, up thread did another PP.

It took 2 posts to get shot down.

People don't want to find solutions. That would get in the way of the British approach to snow, which is open the curtains, spot snowflakes and go back to bed discouraged.

To all those who tackle snow as an inconvenience to be overcome with planning and appropriate clothing I salute you.

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