GRITTING stocks have been topped-up as Huddersfield is hit by snow again.
Kirklees Council received 125 tonnes of grit on Tuesday, bringing its stockpile to 700 tonnes.
And it answered critics by claiming that gritters were sent out at 8pm on Tuesday and 5am yesterday on the priority routes. These include major roads, main bus routes, steep main distributor roads into housing estates, schools, hospitals and industrial estates.
A single grit of priority routes normally uses 75 tonnes of salt, while a full grit takes around 150 tonnes.
But a council spokesman explained: “The amount of stocks used in each grit, per square metre, varies according to the weather forecast and the prevailing conditions.
“Standing snow will require a heavier use of grit than a day when the forecast tells us there is the chance of a slight frost.
“We continually monitor the weather through our network of weather and ice stations across Kirklees and we are also in touch with the Met Office for detailed local forecasts.”
Council staff took drastic action to prevent motorists driving on an icy road. A Kirklees van was left at a junction between Pole Moor and Slaithwaite to stop drivers venturing on to the treacherous road
The van was left at the junction of Pole Gate, Laund Road, Moor Side Lane and Crimea Lane yesterday morning.
Howard Walker, who lives off Moor Side Lane, said the area was treacherous. The retired 67-year-old said: “I saw a large van and a small van colliding about 9.30am. On Tuesday evening I must have passed 15 abandoned cars between Pole Moor Chapel and Pole Gate.
“I think most of the drivers are people who use the road when the weather’s fine. They either don’t have the right tyres or they’re not used to driving in the snow.”
Mr Walker criticised Kirklees for not gritting Moor Side Lane. He said: “I have lived here since 1976, and during that time we have had much worse weather conditions than any we’ve had in 2010. Yet never have the roads been in such terrible condition.”
“It seems that unless the town centre has at least two inches of snow, no-one bothers to check the outlying roads. If Kirklees got paid on results, they would be paying our council tax back to us.”
A councillor also claimed that rural areas of Kirklees had been abandoned by gritters.
Holme Valley South Conservative Clr Nigel Patrick complained that residents were unable to get out of their villages.
He said: “All the roads from the villages haven’t been done.
“Pell Lane and Robert Lane in Wooldale, which are the main roads into Holmfirth, haven’t been done.”
“People can’t drive on the roads because they’re covered in ice.
“They can’t get their kids to school or get to work, it’s appalling.”