"Snow-bound" after Surrey County Council demands £1,000 for grit bin

Wandsworth Guardian: Grit bin at the bottom of Montrouge Crescent. Grit bin at the bottom of Montrouge Crescent.

A woman whose car slid into a parked car on Saturday has slammed Surrey County Council (SCC) for demanding £1,000 for a grit bin for her road snow-bound street.

Susan Palin, 49, who lives in Elmshorn, Epsom, said the road was an ice rink and the nearest grit bin was a ‘treacherous’ walk away at the bottom of Montrouge Crescent.

On Monday Mrs Palin said: "It’s just a nightmare. I did ring the council this morning and they said you can have your own grit bin but it costs £1,000."

The next day Mrs Palin said county councillor Nick Harrison called to say he is looking into getting a grit bin at the top of the hill and moving the bin at the bottom up a bit.

She added: "So, hopefully a good result."

On Saturday Mrs Palin and her husband went out in the car to drop off a note and flowers to a friend, who had fallen in the snow and broken her wrist.

But although he was driving very slowly the car still slid into another car on Elmshorn at the corner with Montrouge Crescent.

Mrs Palin said: "The car just glided and slid into a car parked there. There are problems in the cul-de-sac every time the snow comes."

Mrs Palin said two years ago she could not access their road at all due to snow, so she parked her car in nearby Rose Bushes where another car slammed into it.

She said: "It’s dangerous for my kids to get to school. We are completely snow-bound."

A Surrey County Council spokeswoman said: “We have 1,741 grit bins around Surrey to help local communities.

"We get a lot of requests for new bins but as we only have limited resources we have to place them at strategic locations where they will be most effective, such as slopes, difficult road junctions, acute bends and areas busy with pedestrians.

"Cul de sacs don’t often qualify.

“Bins can be bought for £1,000, which covers installation, repair and maintenance plus one fill a year for four years.

"It is generally organisations such as parish councils which buy them, rather than individuals, so the lady concerned might like to see if neighbourhood groups would be interested.”

Comments (7)

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9:22am Wed 23 Jan 13

chillieman says...

IF IT WAS SUCH A PROBLEM WITH THE SNOW all the people who live here could have all mucked in and moved the snow away with shovels, purchased a bag of rock salt each and spread that on the area that had been cleared. As for driving in snowy /icy conditions ,use the gears to controll the speed of your vehicle not the brakes, there we are then as we say in wales .. :)
IF IT WAS SUCH A PROBLEM WITH THE SNOW all the people who live here could have all mucked in and moved the snow away with shovels, purchased a bag of rock salt each and spread that on the area that had been cleared. As for driving in snowy /icy conditions ,use the gears to controll the speed of your vehicle not the brakes, there we are then as we say in wales .. :) chillieman
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Wed 23 Jan 13

KNutmeg says...

I think this headline is misleading. the council did not demand £1000, they merely stated what the cost would be; given cost of bins and priorities this is not a unique situation. We live on a bus route which is supposed to be cleared but never is until about 2/3 days into a heavy snow. I totally agree with Chillieman, more focus should be on taking responsibility for learning how to drive in the snow and ice.
I think this headline is misleading. the council did not demand £1000, they merely stated what the cost would be; given cost of bins and priorities this is not a unique situation. We live on a bus route which is supposed to be cleared but never is until about 2/3 days into a heavy snow. I totally agree with Chillieman, more focus should be on taking responsibility for learning how to drive in the snow and ice. KNutmeg
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Mr Perceptive says...

By her own admission the road was an ice rink and the nearest grit bin was a ‘treacherous’ walk away. Maybe there was a clue there - don't drive in those conditions. And especially for what was seemingly a non-necessary journey.
By her own admission the road was an ice rink and the nearest grit bin was a ‘treacherous’ walk away. Maybe there was a clue there - don't drive in those conditions. And especially for what was seemingly a non-necessary journey. Mr Perceptive
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Mr Boe says...

I think you will find that your not allowed to grit the pavement or road outside your own house or clear the ice, due to health and safety and risk liability issues. I beleive you can get sued if you do this and not the council.
What makes me laugh is an article eariler on here says there are 1700 grit bins in Epsom and Ewell....I'd love to know where! Most seem to have disappeared in the last few years! We live in Ewell Court and the roads are treacherous, and no sign of a grit bin anywhere near some of the hilly roads! Also your comment of DIY, why should we, council tax is enough in E&E surely this should cover the cost of a spray of grit outside each property!
I think you will find that your not allowed to grit the pavement or road outside your own house or clear the ice, due to health and safety and risk liability issues. I beleive you can get sued if you do this and not the council. What makes me laugh is an article eariler on here says there are 1700 grit bins in Epsom and Ewell....I'd love to know where! Most seem to have disappeared in the last few years! We live in Ewell Court and the roads are treacherous, and no sign of a grit bin anywhere near some of the hilly roads! Also your comment of DIY, why should we, council tax is enough in E&E surely this should cover the cost of a spray of grit outside each property! Mr Boe
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Wed 23 Jan 13

SAM04 says...

'limited resources'? I would like to know what Epsom council actually spends it's money on? The steet lighting is useless, they can't seem to do anything properly. They are the worst council and one of the wealthiest!
'limited resources'? I would like to know what Epsom council actually spends it's money on? The steet lighting is useless, they can't seem to do anything properly. They are the worst council and one of the wealthiest! SAM04
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Wed 23 Jan 13

richard1938 says...

The councils have to cut back, but it would help if they kept the snow bins full. Also would help if horse riding stables (like the one opposite the Grandstand) did not fill up their buckets for use in the stable area. I watched one young man go back & forth taking buckets of grit, which should be used on roads, instead of the Stables.
The councils have to cut back, but it would help if they kept the snow bins full. Also would help if horse riding stables (like the one opposite the Grandstand) did not fill up their buckets for use in the stable area. I watched one young man go back & forth taking buckets of grit, which should be used on roads, instead of the Stables. richard1938
  • Score: 0

5:16pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Angela M says...

I've never seen a full grit bin...

When it snows our cul de sac is a treacherous sheet of black ice on the footpaths and the road. I tend to ignore the health and safety regulations and grit the pavement outside our house as well (we paid for the dropped kerb, so we take responsibility for the slope). It's usually the only safe bit on our road.

As a side note, Ugg-boot-wearers who shuffle along need to realise that they are polishing the ice and snow into an icerink wherever they go!
I've never seen a full grit bin... When it snows our cul de sac is a treacherous sheet of black ice on the footpaths and the road. I tend to ignore the health and safety regulations and grit the pavement outside our house as well (we paid for the dropped kerb, so we take responsibility for the slope). It's usually the only safe bit on our road. As a side note, Ugg-boot-wearers who shuffle along need to realise that they are polishing the ice and snow into an icerink wherever they go! Angela M
  • Score: 0

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