Fears for villages if weather worsens

MANY rural communities in the heart of the Suffolk countryside are likely be left with dangerously icy conditions this morning after being abandoned by the gritters.

Craig Robinson

MANY rural communities in the heart of the Suffolk countryside are likely be left with dangerously icy conditions this morning after being abandoned by the gritters.

It emerged yesterday that Suffolk County Council would not be treating the smaller roads - instead prioritising A and B routes because they were concerned about running out of grit.

It means a number of villages in more rural locations - such as Cretingham, Easton and Brandeston - could be left with treacherous conditions.

Although many places had only seen a sprinkling of snow by yesterday afternoon, there were concerns of what could happen should conditions get worse.

George Ralli, who lives in Cretingham and is a member of Cretingham, Monewden and Hoo Parish Council, said: “My only concern really is what happens if there was an emergency. How would an ambulance get here?

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“The roads are narrow and windy and it can be very dangerous. The road outside my house hasn't been gritted at all. It is just ice. If you get a fresh covering of snow then people don't realise just how icy it is.”

Tony Smith, chairman of Easton Parish Council, said: “It's not ideal. However, I realise the county council doesn't have a bottomless pit of money - it's the tax payers who will have to foot the bill. If people want more salt they would have to pay for it.

“The road through Easton is used by HGVs. Quite often they grit designated HGV routes even if they are not A and B roads. You would want all the designated HGV routes salted.”

Bob Snell, Suffolk District councillor for Earl Soham ward, which covers Brandeston, Cretingham, Easton and Letheringham, said: “As yet I haven't experienced any trouble myself. I think people are being extra careful and driving sensibly.

“Traffic has been very light and hopefully people will only travel when it's necessary.”