Niton residents call for action over non-salted roads

Village residents unite over non-salting of Niton roads and call for the Isle of Wight council to reconsider their salting routes.

Thanks to Retired Hack for sharing this latest news from Niton. In his own words. Ed

In Niton and surrounding areas, villagers face the renewed danger of icy condition with no immediate prospect of their main route to Newport being salted – in spite of a 550-name petition going to the IW Council this week (Tuesday 8th January).

December saw a spate of accidents on the untreated section to Rookley, with one man ending up in hospital and police repeatedly forced to close the road.

Government direction?
Council officials claimed a government “direction” prevents them from using more salt on the network, though the basis for this claim has so far not been provided to campaigners.

With the responsible Cabinet member, Eddie Giles, away from his desk, paid officers have so far been left to deal with media queries – even though the Council’s Constitution calls for Cllr Giles to respond. Council leader David Pugh holds Cllr Giles’s portfolio in his absence, so the petition has been addressed to him.

Freezing forecast
At a community meeting in Niton on Saturday (12th January), ward councillor Dave Stewart, who is also a Cabinet member, told villagers he planned to meet strategic highways manager Peter Hayward within the next week.

But with temperatures set to plunge below freezing as early as tonight, and ice a danger for the rest of the week, it seems that quite a few people will be driving to work on their nerves again.

Campaigners are urging villagers to contact Cllr Giles at

Image: Jinx! under CC BY 2.0

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Sunday, 13th January, 2013 11:35am



Filed under: Isle of Wight Council, Niton, Top story

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  1. What an amazing lack of concern by the Council…

  2. Island Monkey

    14.Jan.2013 7:07am

    Another ward the Tories are likely to lose in May?

  3. Dave Stewart might talk the talk, but does he walk the walk? The answer in my opinion is NO! A few salt bags at the side of the road is not sufficient. The road needs gritting for goodness sake.

  4. Lady at the back

    14.Jan.2013 1:02pm

    The campaign really needs anyone who is concerned to write to Cllr Giles, preferably copying it to Peter Hayward. Mr Hayward is the man who will give the instruction for the road to be treated, but he will presumably only do it after the Cabinet member for Transport (Mr Giles) tells him to do so.
    This is not a political campaign, but we need elected councillors to take responsibility for the health and safety of their electorate. So far we have been fobbed off by council officers, including one email I have seen (can’t name the official who signed it, under Steve Beynon’s Voldemort ruling), who suggested that if the road was treated, salt could be washed away by run-off , and “we would then be in a worse position” because drivers would take less care knowing the road had been treated.
    This convoluted and patronising argument (We’re not going to salt the road because it might encourage people to drive less carefully) beggars belief. That flawed logic could give the council a get-out clause to not treat any road on the Island.
    They really don’t get it, do they? This is not a case of wanting something like some troughs of bulbs for the roadside, it’s about taking the necessary measures (which were always taken until the national salt shortage of 2009), to save lives.


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