Gritter only sent after SECOND accident

HIGHWAY bosses refused to send a gritter to an icy Suffolk road despite pleas from police following an accident, it emerged today.

Rebecca Lefort

HIGHWAY bosses refused to send a gritter to an icy Suffolk road despite pleas from police following an accident, it emerged today.

Suffolk police officers warned Suffolk County Council's highways department about the dangerous conditions on Lower Road in Onehouse, near Stowmarket, after a crash yesterday morning.

The accident happened just after 8.30am and by 8.55am the police had requested help from the county - but highway chiefs initially refused, saying warmer weather would improve road conditions.

The conditions were said to be isolated and other parts of the county were not affected by icy conditions at all.

However, following another accident at 9.10am and another call from the police the gritters eventually arrived on the road, more than an hour and a half after the first call.

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Today a Suffolk police spokeswoman refused to say if the police was happy with the response of the highways team and instead said: "Should there be any concerns regarding the attendance of the gritters then these concerns would be raised directly with the county council's highways department."

The first accident happened when a silver Mitsubishi pick up truck left the road near the Stowmarket Golf Club and overturned on the road's verge. No one was hurt but the smash blocked the carriageway.

Then about 40 minutes later on the same road, this time between the Shepherd and Dog pub and the golf club, a black Toyota Yaris left road and ended up in a field.

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Based on weather forecasts that had not predicted icy conditions no plans were made to grit Lower Road in Onehouse.

“We received an initial call from the police following an accident and informed them that due to the fact that temperatures were rising we would not grit the road.

“Following a further call from police at 9.50am we arranged for the stretch of road to be gritted. This was completed at 10.40am.”

She also confirmed that Lower Road in Onehouse, a priority two road, was not gritted on Monday night.

Last month the Evening Star called for an inquiry into which roads are gritted and when after several car smashes on the busy old A45 road at Levington in rush hour.

The road had not been gritted and motorists involved in the accidents said it was like a sheet of glass.

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