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Just one quarter of Kent roads gritted during 'Beast from the East' snow emergency

March 19, 2018 9:27 AM

Just a quarter of Kent roads were gritted during the recent snow emergency, forcing many schools to close unnecessarily and Trudy Deandisrupting bus services.

Following a question from Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Trudy Dean, at a meeting this week, Mike Whiting, Conservative Cabinet Member for Highways, told councillors, that only roads in the 'Primary Route' Network, which is mainly A and B roads, were salted or gritted during the snow emergency earlier this month.

This represents just a quarter of the miles of road that Kent County Council is responsible for. This means three quarters of the council's road network received no gritting at all, aside from some rural lanes cleared by farmers contracted to use snow ploughs fitted to their tractors.

The bad weather has left the county facing an extra £4 million bill for pothole repairs, on top of the £630 million already needed to fix Kent's crumbling road network.

But so far just £2 million extra has been put aside by KCC, paid for from additional business rates and lower costs of the asylum service.

Cllr Dean, the county councillor for Malling, said: "KCC needs to do more to make the roads safer and keep the county moving during bad weather.

"In my area, six out of seven schools, two out of three surgeries, half of the shopping centres and several bus routes are not on main routes, but most could have been cleared with only short diversions. This means schools closed unnecessarily and buses didn't run when services could have continued."