However should we expect all of our roads to be gritted?
As it turns out the Council do provide some information about this. In particular they have a Winter Service Policy that goes into a reasonable level of detail about what they aim to do.
From that I've learned that all streets are broken down into three priorities:
- main distributor roads
- secondary distributor roads
- main bus routes
- transport interchanges
- roads leading to hospitals, ambulances and fire stations
- routes linking main and secondary distributor roads
- routes through industrial estates and housing hubs
- all remaining residential roads
Pavements are broken down into similar groups:
- main shopping areas such as Eltham, Woolwich and Greenwich Town Centres
- transport interchanges i.e. around rail stations
- local shopping areas
- routes through housing estates
- around schools
- all remaining footways
Floyd Road is, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, a Priority 2 road and the pavement around the station should be a Priority 1 area.
Neither have been gritted.
So three full days after the snow begins to fall Greenwich Council have failed to grit their Priority 2 roads and their Priority 1 pavements.
Is that reasonable?
I am quite genuinely not sure. On the one hand this has been truly exceptional weather and buses along main roads now seem to be fine. On the other we have had three days and what sort of priority is "priority 2" if it's not done after all that time?
And all of this must come with a warning that in order for gritting to be effective you need a certain level of movement over it. So perhaps my street has actually been gritted but hasn't seen enough vehicles to get it to work.
Anyway check your street out and let's see if we can gain some measure as to how the Council is doing when measured against it's own priorities.
I'm very tempted to go out and buy a shovel, if I already had one I'd have been out there by now trying to make a bit of a difference around me.