Rubbing salt in wounds! School gritting policy in Dacorum blasted as ‘two-tier’

A truck dumping gritting salt at a depot
A truck dumping gritting salt at a depot

Dacorum’s ‘two-tier’ system for gritting icy roads close to schools has received a frosty reception.

Only schools which are more than 100 metres from a Herts County Council gritting route can apply for free gritting salt.

It means dozens of schools have to fork out for salt to protect against accidents on their roads while others receive it for free. Herts County Council is currently reviewing the policy.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst, group leader of the Lib Dems, thinks all schools should receive help. His plan, backed by Labour, was voted down by the Conservatives last week.

“This is mean-spirited and means a two-tier system,” he said. “Many urban schools are within 100 metres of a gritting route but the roads and pavements next to schools are not part of that because they are on a side road.

“This creates a hazard for children so even if the school and parents wanted to help out they would have to find the salt and grit themselves – that is wrong.

“This is frankly a disgrace especially as the council has a massive stock and has even been offered free of charge a large amount from Tesco who have an over-supply.”

Cllr Giles-Medhurst is calling for a rethink because he ‘cannot see any justification’ for refusing school requests for salt to grit the pavements.

Terry Douris, county council cabinet member for highways said: “While it is not practical to salt pavements and roads leading to all of our 523 schools, I recognise that schools that wish to grit key pathways and access roads should be able to request salt supplies regardless of their distance from a gritting route.”