Heavy snow brings town to standstill

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QUESTIONS have been raised over gritting in Buckingham after snowfall brought the town to a standstill last Friday afternoon.

Advertiser readers have contacted the paper this week to ask whether the gritting lorries made it this far north after major roads out of Buckingham were gridlocked with stationary traffic.

Vehicles crawled along the A421 towards Bletchley while on the A413 southbound, vehicles were failing to get up the icy incline to Padbury.

And on Moreton Road, some drivers abandoned their vehicles after failing to get up the hill.

All of these roads are on the network of Primary Gritting Routes for Transport for Bucks (TfB).

Rodney Blackall, of Moreton Road, said: “What action was taken to make movement around town safer and less messy? What action was taken to ensure the gullies close to pedestrian crossings were cleared to prevent icy ponds forming both sides of the road?”

Town councillor Robin Stuchbury said he had to help two stranded motorists, driving home a lady who was stranded at the Tesco roundabout and pushing the vehicle of another lady up Moreton Road.

Simon Dudley, of TfB, said secondary routes were gritted on Thursday morning and primary routes on Thursday evening.

But he said the very low temperatures of the road surface would cause the snow to stick more and take longer to melt.

A TfB spokesman said: “Generally the service delivery across the county has been praised and we have had a large number of positive comments.

“The gritters started their routes at 4am on Friday to ensure that they were clear of the roads before the rush hour started as snow had been forecast.

“The gritters then went out a second time with snow ploughs and were laying salt while it was snowing at 1pm.

“As the snow was persistent, a lot of people decided to travel home just after lunchtime so there were a lot of vehicles on the road at one time, adding to the congestion.

“In addition, the majority of Bucks schools closed at midday which exacerbated the traffic volumes.

“Clearly cars cannot travel at their usual speed when it is snowing. “

Members of the public can track the gritters live at www.transportforbucks.net/Winter-maintenance/Large-gritting-map.aspx