We had no reply from the County Council about the lack of gritting on shared-use paths, so we’ve written to the Lancaster Guardian:
Lancaster has recently had several days when the temperature dipped below zero, resulting in frosty and icy patches on busy shared-use paths which has made cycling and walking hazardous. These slippery conditions were made worse in places by frozen leaves that have piled up over the autumn. Some cyclists have been deterred from using their bikes altogether, and others have slid off.
A notoriously treacherous stretch is that around the approaches to the Millennium Bridge, which generally freezes first. One experienced, local cyclist shattered his femur and hip bone by the bridge and required a replacement hip joint. This – personal suffering aside – cost the NHS some £12,500 to treat. For some shovelfuls of grit, such accidents could be prevented. Not proactively gritting shared-use paths, particularly busy commuter routes, is quite frankly economics of the madhouse.
Each winter Lancashire County and Lancaster City Councils proactively grit roads to prevent dangerous driving conditions for motorists, yet do not treat pedestrians and cyclists with equal care. Each cold winter the NHS picks up the tab to repair injured pedestrians and cyclists.
Dynamo is urging the Councils to adopt a proactive approach to gritting shared-use paths and pavements. Indeed we have written to the County Council on this matter but have not received a reply. Formerly there was a dedicated cycling officer at the County Council who could supply such information but his post has gone, as have regular meetings with the Council. Local cyclists, as well as being left out in the cold, are now in the dark too.