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Get a grit…

February 5, 2009
tags: ,

How has the world suddenly become obsessed with grit?  The Daily Express is calling it a “grit crisis” and local authority leaders and chief execs are comparing stocks and preparing to fight off marauding hordes of Highways Agency raiders.  I like the casting of councils as defenders of local community grit stockpiles against hungry quangocrats…but surely there is a hint of lost perspectives here.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy Sawford permalink
    February 5, 2009 11:32 am

    the Taxpayers Alliance have actually praised councils for having enough grit

  2. Jonathan Carr-West permalink*
    February 5, 2009 1:31 pm

    Paul Bettinson of the LGA and Derek Turner of the Highways Agency were on the Today programme discussing the great grit crisis.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7871000/7871260.stm

    Apparently there are also salt shortages.

    What is the difference between grit and salt?

  3. Amelia Cookson permalink
    February 5, 2009 1:50 pm

    Come now Jonathan, surely everyone knows by now that salt is used to make grit. I refer you to the following informative page from Wolverhampton City Council….

    http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/transport_streets/maintenance/gritting/what.htm

  4. Jonathan Carr-West permalink*
    February 5, 2009 3:02 pm

    Well you learn something new everyday…

    Apparently there’s now an emergency appeal for salt

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7871776.stm

    Start raiding your kitchen cupboards

  5. Mark Norris permalink
    February 5, 2009 3:21 pm

    No need to raid the kitchen cupboards – all councils need to do is send people down the supermarkets and by up dishwasher salt – 90% salt – and it works a treat (as I discovered on Tuesday evening).

  6. Amelia Cookson permalink
    February 5, 2009 4:22 pm

    The AA has joined the moral panic.

    http://www.theaa.com/public_affairs/news/lack-of-salt-endangering-lives-on-local-roads.html

    I grew up in the coldest major city in the world, where the roads are solid ice for six months, and know for a fact that you can drive on an ungritted, ice packed road. Just drive slowly. There’s an element of personal responsibility here.

    And use your dishwasher salt, obviously.

  7. Andy Sawford permalink
    February 6, 2009 11:11 am

    Northamptonshire County Council have now recalled all the gritter lorries because they are getting stuck in the snow!

  8. Matt Bryant permalink
    February 6, 2009 11:13 am

    I think, on the whole, Councils have done a very good job in managing a situation that we as a country are simply not geared up for.

    Just briefly on other measures that could be employed, if you live in Alaska or Scandinavia or wherever then it makes sense to invest in lots of snowploughs etc, as weather events like this happen every year and for long periods of time.

    But here where they are the exception rather than the rule, I’m sure taxpayers would have a problem with councils forking out for loads of equipment that sits in a depot apart from one week every 5 or 6 years. I suppose this argument can be extended to grit to some extent.

    If climate change means these events become more frequent, however, then maybe we need to look at it again…

  9. February 9, 2009 11:05 am

    Help on the way from Europe – http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=75417

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