Rossendale Free Press
Icy blast puts Valley on road to chaos
SNOW and ice wreaked havoc on the roads and disrupted bin collections - and more might be on the way. Frustrated residents were stuck in their homes for more than 12 hours as the access road to Haslingden’s Halo was blocked by a stricken car with grit stocks running low.
The big freeze also caused headaches for bin wagons in some areas, with rounds having to be postponed due to black ice. Mountain rescue volunteers were called to ‘multiple casualties’ following sledging accidents, with one sledger smashing feet first into a dry stone wall.
With a new Met Office ice warning in place for Thursday and Friday, residents have been urged to stay at home as a new coronavirus lockdown begins to bite.
SNOW and ice have caused hazardous driving conditions and prevented some bin collections this week.
On Saturday, the access road to the Halo in Haslingden was blocked by a car, leaving residents stuck in.
Mick Gribben said the road was blocked from 5.30pm on Saturday until Sunday morning - the car having to be moved by residents and the owner.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of problems with access and grit. The problem was we were clearing the road and gritting it ourselves on Sunday but we probably had 17 or 18 people try to push past us while we were doing that. They’re all attending the Halo, but I’m led to believe that the car park is for disabled access only and everybody else should walk. But there’s no signage and people aren’t aware of it.”
Mick also said he needs the road to be clear in case he needs to reach his 86-year-old grandmother or his wife’s 96-year-old father who live in sheltered accommodation.
“In the current times it’s quite worrying that you can’t get a vehicle past,” he said.
“There’s no access for emergency services while the road is blocked. I just want to highlight to people that unless they really need to be going up and down there, then they should avoid it .”
Another car which had been held up by the stuck vehicle, also slid off the road - with the handbrake on.
Lancashire County Council said their priority during winter is to keep traffic moving on “main routes”.
Chris Metcalfe, highways operations engineer, said: “While we can treat around one-third of all roads in around four hours if necessary, we ask people to make sure that they’re prepared and able to manage during severe weather as we don’t have the resources to grit every road in Lancashire.
“Cribden End Lane is a narrow unclassified road and provides access to a small number of farms and residential properties, and therefore does not meet the criteria to be part of the network which we treat as a priority when a freeze is forecast, but because the road is on a gradient we provide a grit bin.
“The grit bin was filled at the start of the season, again at the start of December, and again earlier this week. During the severe weather over recent days our gritting crews have been very busy carrying out repeated treatments of the main routes.
“As these are now clear of ice and snow, we have started another refill of the grit bins, as well as footways in the busiest areas.”
On Monday, Rossendale Borough Council Environmental Services posted on Facebook that snow and ice had prevented safe access for their bin collection vehicles in some areas, adding: “There will also be some impact on today’s collections as well.”
On Tuesday the service updated to say that due to black ice some areas were too dangerous to access.
They said: “There may be some delays in collection until the ice clears on the roads and footpaths.
“We hope to get all bins emptied this week so please leave bins out for collection.
“The crew will happily take a few bags extra, if they are recycling please can you label as appropriate either glass, cans and plastics, or paper and cardboard.
“Thank you for your continuing patience.”