What Happened To The Gritters?

Last updated : 30 December 2005 By Footy Mad - Editor

Newcastle City Council have responded to criticism from Charlton Athletic chief executive Peter Varney. The Addicks official blasted the lack of gritters around St James' Park as the Premiership clash between Newcastle United and Charlton was called off at 7.20pm for safety reasons.

Rob Nichols, general manager of environmental services at Newcastle City Council, issued a statement in response.

"The council's team of gritters had been working across the city all day yesterday prior to the match at St James' Park being abandoned. This gritting operation has continued today and, over the course of the last 30 hours in excess of 300 tonnes of salt has been spread on the roads by between eight and 11 gritting vehicles operating at any one time.

"During an inspection at 4pm yesterday all main routes in the city centre were found to be clear. However, a heavy snowfall after 4.30pm, which coincided with rush hour traffic and rapidly reducing temperatures, resulted in poor driving conditions.

"Because of the amount of snow and the slow pace of the traffic, the salt was not worked into the road, resulting in icy driving conditions. To compound the situation, due to the severe traffic congestion, it proved difficult to get the gritting vehicles to some of the roads in most need.

"The council is continuing to do everything possible to ensure that roads across the city are clear of snow and ice and safe for motorists."