LETTER: Council had ‘enough warning’ over Derbyshire snow fall

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I would like to add my voice to the chorus of disapproval regarding the completely ineffective removal of snow, after the extensive precipitation experienced on Boxing Day.

The Met Office gave sufficient advanced warning of the snowfall that would occur in the north Midlands.

Unfortunately, DCC Highways were unaware of the extent, or preferred to ignore the consequences that the deposition of snow would incur.
Consequently, Derbyshire experienced horrendous conditions following this snow, and the gritting teams were noticeable by their absence.

I have some local meteorological data, relevant to Birchover, and on the 26th. December, between 16:15 and 17:15, 2.1mm of actual rain fell, which preceded the large snowfall.

Pressure fell from 1,030 mbar to 1,004 mbar (adjusted to sea level), which would indicate significant precipitation.

As the temperature fell from 2.6 deg C to 0.5 deg C it is obvious that this rainfall would turn quite readily into snow.

Unfortunately, I noticed the gritting vehicle travelling through Birchover before the rain started, and as a consequence, the effectiveness of the salt on the subsequent snowfall would be significantly reduced.

After this extensive snowfall, on the 26th December, no gritting occurred in Birchover, and other parts of Derbyshire were similarly affected.

Fortunately, my wife was not working at the hospital in Bakewell on this occasion; otherwise she would probably have been injured in her car travelling on the lethal local roads.

There is quite simply, no excuse for this lack of snow clearance, as it is necessary to prioritise to reduce the great hazard that ice and snow presents the motorist.

I note that DCC is match funding the cycle trail government grant.

Interesting to see where DCC priorities lie, certainly not with the safety of the road user, who cannot rely on DCC Highways to ensure that their car does not crash, or they become seriously injured, perhaps fatally.

In addition, although DCC highways were informed of the extensive amount of water that has flowed across the road below The Mires, they have ignored requests to remedy the situation.

Consequently, as expected, this section of the road into Birchover has frozen, and become extremely hazardous. Just another example of inaction by DCC.

As a council tax payer, I would regard it as a minimum that I can travel safely on the roads of Derbyshire, and this latest experience does not inspire confidence.

David Goodall

By email