Priorities Please

Well, I might regret saying that sunny snowy winter days never get old, as it seems to have ushered in days of sub-zero weather and the snow, the ice – and definitely the wind – are beginning to feel like house guests that have begun to outstay their welcome.

bike and snow

We haven’t had any more snow, but it appears that the wind has been doing more than just freeze our ears off – when I went down for the paper this morning I discovered that the few inches we had on Thursday had been helpfully swept off the surrounding hills and gathered neatly along some stretches of the road instead.

wind blown snow

The rest had been sculpted into some attractive shapes.

wind blown snow

Fortunately for us there seems to be a new policy of clearing rural roads of snow (or perhaps the local farmers have just gone out and done it themselves – I will find out tonight at the community council meeting) unlike our last big freeze. This is nice for me, because even with the ice tyres, rutted icy compacted snow can be a bit tricky. As it was, the place where I nearly came off my bike was our own driveway. I had shovelled myself a nice path out of the shed and onto the drive but had neglected to do the bit right by the road where I need to turn right just as all the ruts are trying to send me left. Oops.

This is slightly embarrassing given that a little rant I unleashed about the state of Bigtown’s pavements has been picked up by the local paper. I’m due in town tomorrow early for a traditional sadface shot next to the icy path right by the paper’s offices (unless the coonsil get wind of it and get the grit down overnight) – hopefully not with injuries from where I came off the bike on my own ice.

Still it does seem bizarre that the back road to Papershop Village, a road used by myself and about three farmers, has had more snow clearing than the pavements in most part of Bigtown. In fact, the pavements in Nearest Village have had more snow clearing than the ones in Bigtown, thanks to the community resilience scheme whereby they just give community councils a big bin full of grit and a hopper and tell them to have at it, which they do. There was more salt down than the Dead Sea when I cycled past this morning. It seemed to have done the trick, though. Perhaps the coonsil could take note.

3 Responses to Priorities Please

  1. Paul M says:

    A few years ago we were spending a few days in Brittany in mid December, when it snowed quite heavily – a rarity in that area. We woke up in the early hours to look out the window and groan – we were due on the St Malo Ferry that morning and though we only had ten miles to drive there it didn’t look good.

    By the time we got up, around 7:30, the roads had been ploughed, even the street outside our house, and we had no difficulty getting to the port.

    Later that day, driving up the A3 from Portsmouth, we found only one lane open each way because that was all they had ploughed, and it got steadily worse all the way to Hindhead.

    It seems in Brittany the conseil general issues snow ploughs to the farmers to attach to their tractors, and pays them to go out and use them when necessary. It works.

    Meanwhile, back home in Haslemere, the B road which passes the station is among the first to be gritted, while the footway beside it is neglected. Well over a thousand people walk this footway each morning and evening, to/from either home or the car parks which serve the station. One lady slipped and fell on the ice, and judging by the noise I heard as I cycled by injured herself quite badly. Luckily there were plenty of people around to come to her aid.

    I do hope she sued the bastards in the Borough offices.

  2. Sue Greig says:

    Community Council in Caerlaverock has been great at clearing snow from the pavements. Not so Dumfries Town. Don’t they have Community Councils or is it one big ineffectual Council?

  3. disgruntled says:

    @Paul M it would appear the same system operates up here with the farmers. Sadly no farmers to clear pavements in the town
    @Sue – well there’s the Loreburne community council …

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