Baldock councillor Michael Muir has appealed for the county council to grit the roads outside two local schools.

Currently, he says, the roads outside St Mary’s Infant and St Mary’s Junior schools, in Baldock, are not routinely gritted in icy weather.

And that, he says, has caused problems for cars that can slip down the slope.

He raised the issue at a meeting of the county council’s highways and transport cabinet panel on Monday (July 3), asking council officers to look again at whether the route could be changed as part of their review.

“Couple of years ago I mentioned St Mary’s Infant School and St Mary’s Junior school are next to each other in St Mary’s Way in Baldock,” he said.

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“They are on a hill – and you don’t grit there.

“I asked for it to be considered. It hasn’t been considered, and this January when we had that week of snow on the ground, there were several cars that slid back on the hill and crashed into others.”

Cllr Muir stressed that adjoining Weston Way was already gritted – and suggested that the gritters could loop around onto St Mary’s Way before returning to Weston Way

“The gritting lorry only needs to turn into St Mary’s Way, do those two schools and can then go back onto Weston Way. Why haven’t these two schools been included?

Cllr Muir made the remarks during a consideration of the county council's winter services operational plan, at the meeting on Tuesday (July 4).

At that meeting councillors heard that last year the council had conducted 78 precautionary salting of roads across the county.

Head of highways contracts and management Cllr Steve Johnson said that the council would be reconsidering routes over the summer period.

And he said that provided it was ‘practical and accessible’ for gritters to get in one continuous, they would look at it.

But Cllr Jonathan Kaye also stressed that there was nothing to stop schools from doing some gritting.

“There’s nothing to stop schools from doing some of that themselves – actually gritting the entrance to the school,” he said.

“They are not going to do the whole road, but they can actually do things themselves.

“There’s a tendency to say, ‘well, the council should be doing this’, ‘the council should be doing that,’.

“But they can actually help the parents and the kids themselves, by doing what they can in order to help that. “

According to the report that was presented to the cabinet panel, last winter there were 78 precautionary salting outings on Hertfordshire roads – which is above the average of 58.