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Snow makes Cheltenham's pavements like 'an ice rink'

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

  • TREACHEROUS: A woman makes her way carefully along Springbank Road, Cheltenham, yesterday

  • wintry scene: Snowy landscape in the Cotswolds taken on the road between Cheltenham and Bourton-on-the-Water. Below, An icy gargoyle at Toddington church

Comments (13)

PACKED ice has been left covering pavements in Cheltenham, making them lethal to people of all ages.

Pedestrians have been risking nasty falls and broken bones as many of the town's walkways have been left at the mercy of the elements.

Some residents complained surfaces resembled an ice rink, more than three days after the initial flurry of snow hit the county, adding many pavements were impassable – especially for elderly folk.

Maureen Molloy, 83, who lives in Church Road, Leckhampton, said the way things were at the moment she was afraid to leave her home.

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She said: "The pavements are very dangerous. I would not go out at the moment, it's too slippery. This road is terrible it is like a skating rink."

In contrast, people living in Tewkesbury said pavements had been successfully cleared of ice and slush left from melting snow and are now safe to walk on.

It has raised questions about whether Cheltenham has received different treatment to the rest of the county.

Tewkesbury residents have lavished praise on the authorities for how they have dealt with the sub-zero conditions.

One man said: "On Saturday morning my wife and I went shopping in Tewkesbury, and both of us were surprised and very pleased to find the pavements had been completely cleared of all the ice and snow from the previous day."

The two towns currently have different operations in place to deal with icy areas.

Tewkesbury Town Council is responsible for gritting pavements while, in Cheltenham, the borough council takes on the task through its contractor, Ubico.

John Rees, environmental maintenance manager at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "We work with Gloucestershire Highways in times of adverse weather conditions and they have given us instructions to carry out salting operations to priority one routes within the town centre area, which we have done."

But a spokeswoman for Gloucestershire County Council, said it was up to the borough how it used its grit.

She said: "We've got an agreement with Cheltenham Borough Council where we provide the salt and they treat the pavements wherever they think it's necessary, within the town centre area."

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it had been inundated with elderly visitors turning up to A&E with fractures after slipping in the treacherous conditions.

It posted a tweet yesterday urging people to look out for vulnerable residents.

It said: "Lots of over 65s attending A&E with fractures – could you assist elderly neighbours with shopping to help them avoid trips and slips?"

The cold snap looks set to stay throughout the week, with temperatures dipping to -5 C in parts of Gloucestershire by Thursday night.

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  • tishwash  |  January 24 2013, 8:03PM

    I'm not going to argue with you, so have fun, We both know the right points and we're just nit picking.

  • andypandy789  |  January 23 2013, 6:26PM

    Tishwash - yah yah yah. Go dig your hole back where you belong. On a separate note, you may find on yyour keyboard other punctuation items than just? ? . And sir? yeh, you are so knowledgeable. the cat - you miss the point totally. the poor performance yet again by Chelt council when there is snow and gritting is needed. Again get your facts right. it was not a sweeping statement. i can only go on the state of the roads i travel on. You must be snowed in somewhere cos you ain't back at your village!

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  • tishwash  |  January 23 2013, 5:16PM

    @andypandy789, I didn't quote you ? I retorted your point and stated a fact that Cheltenham's main roads have been fine, and counter stated about the minor roads being worse, you however gave a sweeping statement that "even the roads in Cheltenham have seemed grim" so you yourself sir created ambiguity. As for your cat gritting, yeah okay

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  • andypandy789  |  January 22 2013, 9:10PM

    tishwash - where did i write main?? If you are going to respond, quote correctly!! or don't quote at all.Who or where does it say in my response about gritting every single road inc residential or minor ? Well? Not in my reply. I can only go by my own experience of travelling Bath Road/leckhampton Road on Friday and Monday. My cat that is buried in my back garden has made more of an effort to grit the roads. Feel free to comment but get your comments correct on what you are commenting back on. And Woodys of Tewkesbury - clear up your rubbish. It makes the paths more slippry than the snow.

  • tishwash  |  January 22 2013, 8:43PM

    @andypandy789 what ? Cheltenham's main roads have been fine ? it's only the smaller residential roads that haven't been gritted, do you know how much it would cost to grit every single road in cheltenham ? would be a waste as it's all melting.

  • andypandy789  |  January 22 2013, 7:39PM

    I don't know so much about the pavements but even the roads in Cheltenham have seemed grim. I passed a gritter on the M5 today and felt like taking a picture so that Chelt council know what one looks like. Tewkesbury side roads are ok where I live, it's the remains of the veg shop (has a stall on the market) that is more of a problem. the veg rubbish and packaging is just a claim waiting!

  • tishwash  |  January 22 2013, 6:28PM

    @spud0 btw I think you'll find that many more pounds are spent by drivers on the roads that aren't used. There are grit bins, you could *shocker* put some down yourself and for your neighbours :?

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  • tishwash  |  January 22 2013, 6:22PM

    " "On Saturday morning my wife and I went shopping in Tewkesbury, and both of us were surprised and very pleased to find the pavements had been completely cleared of all the ice and snow from the previous day."" So the shopping areas were treated, not the side roads.... go and look in Tewkesbury or ask residents, most side roads were left untreated. No road is 'impassable', many people just trying to walk normal pace on them, I haven't seen a single person fall over yet around town or down side roads, scaremongering I say

  • Matt1006  |  January 22 2013, 11:54AM

    halfdome1 - thanks for posting the link. Excellent.

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  • halfdome1  |  January 22 2013, 10:59AM

    ....this made me chuckle about gritting...'in the depot' http://tinyurl.com/aucku32

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