Friday, January 09, 2009

Grit Truth

Crumbs! I see the row over whether the duffers at Kent Highways did or did not grit the A299 Thanet Way on Wednesday morning rumbles on. If you recall, there were eight separate crashes involving more than 10 different vehicles, including an ambulance, on the coldest morning of the year so far. Sadly one driver lost his life. Eyewitnesses reported skidding, and the cops sealed the road off saying they weren't going to open it until KFC got out there with the salty stuff. Meanwhile the M2, which comes under the auspices of the national Highways Agency, saw no such problems.

Now Gazunder reader Lee has commented on the paper's website:

While I agree drivers need to drive carefully in bad conditions (I was involved in one of the accidents, and I thought I was driving safely!), I feel that Kent County Council must take some blame. Keith Ferrin of KCC has contradicted Phil Scrivener (Kent Highways spokesman) and admitted that the Thanet Way was not actually gritted in the early hours of Wednesday morning. One policeman I spoke to was astonished that many roads were not gritted especially as emergency vehicles were also involved in collisions due to ice on the road.

Yet so far no calls from any politician near or far for an investigation into what went wrong. Just the sound of salt blowing in the wind!

Click here to read full story on Gazunder website

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Worth looking over on Ken Gregory's blog, where as ever, straight answers are slow to emerge. His Tory colleague Chris Wells "believes" it's been made clear no gritting was done. Hopefully someone from KCC will say either "yes it was" or "no it wasn't" and also whether it should have been. Perhaps an apology too, if the gritting wasn't done?

Presumably gritting has purpose, otherwise doing it is a waste of public money. KCC are there to do it. If not, then they have failed in a basic responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I just hope that the decision not to grit was taken following meteorological advice and for no other reason. Since a life was lost maybe there should be a full KCC enquiry which will be published. The insurance company or a coroner may look into the accident too to see if KCC was negligent. We should be told. Is there a county concillor out there that will take this up?

Rear view mirror said...

As the A299 was gritted late afternoon the previous day, I suspect that KCC were expecting icy conditions. Could it be that they were trying to reduce overtime payments, by gritting during the day rather than night.

If so they may have succeeded in reducing costs, but they have cost somebody their life.

steve said...

I suggest everyone contacts Ladyman, and their local council person. I have.

they cannot sweep this one under the carpet. Someone has died.

Anonymous said...

Presumably there will be a police inquiry?

Rebecca said...

This is an important issue but there are wider issues about the neglect of Thanet's road and KCC ignoring peoples ongoing concerns about safety.

Various people have complained to KCC demanding that roads are made safer but what have KCC done about it?

Perhaps a flood of Freedom of Information requests might be illuminating.

Anyone who ever leaves Thanet would know how much of a poor relation we are compared to other parts of the county and country.