West Bank

Winster, Derbyshire

An accident waiting to happen?


Now try it in the Winter.

For many years West Bank was routinely gritted, the local authority being well aware of the accident potential involved.
Since gritting schedules were 'reorganised' a few years ago this has not happened and West Bank is now a long way down the list of priorities.
The results are obvious and speak for themselves. Drivers, local or otherwise, take no extra care in winter because they think the road will be passable.
It is little short of miraculous that there have been no fatalities.


Weather Watch

Links to weather conditions

Met Office forecast for Winster ~ Click Here

Rainfall Radar (30 min delay) ~ Click Here


Winter 2015/16

21 Nov 2015 1000 0c Overnight snow to ice No salt - residents gritting            


Mercedes flatback sideways on hill and sliding into wall. Driver had come from Newark and was going to Macclesfield!
He was following SatNav.  No further comment.

Picking up the pieces
This is what happens when the road is not properly gritted

29.1.15 between 0800 and 0830
4x4 driver coming down West Bank lost control and hit VW Golf (1), bounced off and hit Fiesta (2) bounced off that and hit wall of village hall.
Several thousand of pounds of damage to be sorted by vehicle owners because the road was not gritted in time.

Thanks guys
3 passes, at least 1 was gritting - indeed very welcome. As can be seen the road was already clear due to hand-gritting. Then more snow fell.......


Welcome sight  12.16hrs   Unwelcome sight 14.22hrs 21.1.15.
                                                                                                                                                        This tractor is reversing down West Bank having filled a blue recycling bag with grit meant for the hill.


So far in the winter of 2013/14 we have been quite lucky with conditions nowhere near
as bad as in the last two years. The weather has been mainly rain and above freezing except for
(so far) a few days of frost. Data is kept on daily conditions where the road becomes dangerous.

26 Dec 2013 0900 -1.5C black ice
5 Jan 2014 0800 -1C ice
20 Jan 2014 0800 -1C ice
10 Feb 2014 0800 -2C black ice residents hand gritting
11 Feb 2014 0955 0.5C snow
21 Feb 2014 0740 -1C Black Ice no gritting

27.12.14  0800  6" of snow overnight. Frozen slush on road.  Gritters later in the day.

10.25 11 Feb 14. Heavy snow from 0955hrs


This is a selection of pictures all taken after the local authority stopped regular gritting.
Whilst Winster Main Street is gritted and ploughed adequately, the most dangerous through-route in
the village has to wait. Sometimes for days. Assess the danger for yourself.

This Peugot made the mistake of descending West Bank in atrocious conditions,
colliding with other vehicles as a result. See below.

After the Peugot, above, there were FIVE further accidents that day.
The road was not closed until 7pm despite repeated calls from 9am onwards.
At least 3 vehicles were written off. It took 3 days to clear the damage and re-open the hill.
(Picture taken after conditions had eased)











Solid ice. No plough, no grit.                              Several inches of snow. No sign of a plough.



Lamp post outside Mia Casa damaged in yet another accident.
It was not replaced for months.


L: Local residents try to clear the road themselves.  R: The only way this gritter could make any progress was to grit himself
                                                        up the hill BACKWARDS! 

At last a plough!
The excuse has been used many times that the plough cannot get up West Bank
because of parked vehicles. This picture proves otherwise.

Part of the Gritting Priorities map published on the Derbyshire County Council Website.
Primary routes: orange    Secondary Routes: blue   Tertiary routes: green
West Bank is not even shown (even though similar routes are)
assurance has been given that West Bank is a 'secondary' route. It really ought to
be reclassified to 'primary' which it always was.

Just about every excuse has been trotted out to explain why West Bank is not properly treated by our
local authority. The plain fact is that the Main Street is perfectly well treated in winter and it would
take virtually no extra time or cost to treat the additional 500 yards of this hill.
In doing so the costs of police (and ambulances) would be reduced, drivers would make fewer
insurance claims, there would be less damage to property and Highways workmen would  not have to
replace lamposts and other street furniture.

Local residents, who sometimes cannot get their own vehicles out for days, feel
they are ignored and held to ransom by a petty bureaucracy ignorant of the dangers.

**For a full version of the snow report please download the PDF file available on the Solutions and Reports page.




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