Tuesday 3 February 2009

Service Cuts And Incompetence Leave Ice Traps Across Hammersmith & Fulham

Why are Hammersmith and Fulham's streets and pavements still covered in snow and ice while our neighbouring boroughs have managed to clear all their main roads and footpaths? Well, it turns out that H&F Council didn't start working on the problem until yesterday.

Considering that there have been predictions of bad weather since last Friday, it is unacceptable that there was no clearing on Sunday night when the first snow fall occurred. What's the reason for this? It's because our Council and its contractors couldn't get their gritting machines going. It was not until yesterday that the machines were fixed and set to work, but they then promptly conked out again at 7.00pm - begging the question why weren't the machines properly serviced earlier?

Beautiful as many of these scenes are, snow and ice are very dangerous when left on roads and pavements causing accident levels to rise significantly.

Heavy traffic seems to have dissipated some of the ice on the main roads. However, all the residential streets were still packed solid at midday today. And, all the borough's main footpaths were still untouched by any gritting as today's photos show.

Some civic-minded residents have taken it upon themselves to step in where H&F Council has failed. The lady in the above picture was doing her best to clear the pavements on Hammersmith Grove. She told me that she had been doing the same in Lyric Square and had been supplied with hot coffee by a local café grateful for her efforts.

Residents will recall that the street cleaning budget has been cut by £1million. This includes snow and ice removal and may prove to be a false saving if anyone injured on Hammersmith and Fulham's icy pavements decides to sue the Council for negligence.

I will report more as this story unfolds. Click on any of the pictures (taken between 11.25am and 1.10pm today) to enlarge.

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