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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Grit or gravel?

In the absence of grit, the Council put down a lot of gravel on the pavements.

Scottish Water are furious about this, as the gravel is blocking the pipes and the filters and giving them huge maintenance headaches.

The emergency grit supplies arrived today, just in time for the thaw to start. The main roads are very good, but side roads and especially pavements and parking areas are nothing but compacted ice, which I don't think that the grit will make any difference to.

Many pedestrians are finding the roads the safer option, and until the temperatures rises and some sunlight falls on the iced areas, this is going to persist. My back garden is a good weather vane, as it is sheltered from the sun in winter, and the snow is still lying thick and deep over the lawn, with the drive thawing slightly and then freezing into lethal ice. Hopefully the warm rain on Wednesday will melt the ice and let us all back to normal.


Anonymous said...

After the Nicholson reopening last Thursday and parents able to get back to work, my daughter met the bus this morning (on the westside)only to be told by the driver,

"it's your lucky day hen, the Nicky is closed".

I watched in furry and disbelief as she plodded back up the drive and told us the news. There was steam coming out of my ears and tears of rage covered my face,

"what! the school is closed...AGAIN"

"Aye, and it's no my fault"

Several words sprang to mind and all of them adjectives for the Council.

Should us parents do like the ones down south and take up spades and dig our kids back to school? As it's not likely this Council will! And all those workers at the DSO,COU (whatever they call themselves) Marybank, perishing through cold just standing around with nothing to do, trying to keep warm with the butt of another fag and mug of tea.....and they say we should be "thankfull" for all their efforts over the festive season, aye but at what rate per hour??????

Anonymous said...

One thing that no-one seems to have spotted or commented upon, the state of the road surfaces. Once this ice and salt/grit/gravel goes (and that will take some time) the road surfaces underneath are in a dire condition all over the island. As a taxi driver I am seeing this every day everywhere I go. Question is, what will the council do about all the road repairs that will be needed? Very little I guess.

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that all Gritter Drivers are to recieve a £2000.
bonus at the end of the gritting season. I think they deserve every penny for all their hard work.

Anonymous said...


Since you can't spell the name of the school your daughter attends, it makes me wonder what level of engagement you have with it on a day-to-day basis.

Anonymous said...

Poor Old Council - and I'm no fan- BUT these Islands and Englandshire are simply unaccostomed to three consecutive weeks of sub zero temeratures. Fair do when Coincil failto meet their responsibilities WHEN THEY CAN AND OUGHT TO BE MET, in this iinstance in common with the rest of the British Isles they are farting against thunder, LATEST HEALT WARNING:

Anonymous said...

According to hebrides news, there were 5 schools closed today. As far as I can see there is no mention of this on the Council website. It really annoys me that the Council cannot or will not keep us up to date with the most basic information on their website. All the new info I can see today is an announcement that the Council are to host a crofting conference and some stuff about planning applications. I am sure they must have plenty of highly paid IT experts that can UPDATE THE WEBSITE.....

The Council should divert the money they spend on whoever is paid to update their website and give it hebrides news. It provides more of a public service than the council website does.

I know this may sound like a bit of a rant, but if the bus to Harris has been cancelled, this should be on the website. If a road is closed due to an accident, this should be on the website. Surely the appropriate people should have access to UPDATE THE WEBSITE!!!

MadEddieH said...

To be frank, I thought the gravel was a stupid idea as well.

I think they would have been better employed by hiring a chunk of bardons guys/ insert any other constructiony type firm and giving them shovels to chip and scrape away the ice.

I can't really point the finger at the council for not being prepared for all the cold - the MetOffice, i.e. the government's weather department has been telling everyone it was going to be a barbecue summer followed by a mild winter.

Until the MetOffice is fit for purpose council aren't going to be able to rely on it at all.

If I was the council I would be telling the MetOffice to get it's act together in no uncertain terms.

Anonymous said...

Generally speaking, I feel those involved in the actual task of gritting are to be congratualted.

However, the car park at the hospital is a disgrace. It was in a very dangerous condition. I am aware that the responsibility for this rests not with the Council but with the hospital. Dangerous to patients, visitors and staff themselves.

I wonder how many people had to take themselves along to A&E due to an accident on hospital grounds.

Conditions were that bad that parked cars slid away from where owners had left them.

One thing puzzles me though.

How come Tesco car park was in a relatively decent state compared to the hospital? Do Tesco place more emphasis on the safety and well being of their customers than our Western Isles Health Board does?

frozen claw said...

MadEddie, you really do demonstrate that you know nothing about anything. The Met Office is not "unfit for purpose" - the fact is long-term weather predictions have a huge margin of error because, here's a news flash, weather, as opposed to climate, is pretty random. The Arctic oscillation that's caused this cold spell recurs but to no pattern. Long-term predictions are taken by any intelligent person with large lorry loads of salt.

The council's error has been in, I presume, seeing "mild winter" and (stupidly) thinking, great, we'll cut the gritting this year and recoup some of last year's losses... when they should know better, and be equipped every year for the average plus a little worse. Then no one would blame them if it's a lot worse and they don't quite manage.

So calling the Met Office to account... don't make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

12:31 AM

Other Met services are available too.
The Met Office did give us about 2 weeks notice that the cold weather was coming.
The trouble with forecasting long range events is that a system need only alter its course and speed by a few dgrees or knots and the predictions can change dramatically.

The council is required to keep the roads clear and it failed to do so QED.