No grit as drivers come against icy conditions

First published in News by

Icy conditions led to a series of crashes as council chiefs blamed poor forecasting for not gritting the roads.

Sussex Police received 35 calls to crashes in West Sussex between 7am and 10am as temperatures plummeted yesterday morning.

West Sussex County Council said they decided not to grit the roads after the Met Office forecasted that temperatures would remain above zero.

A woman and her son suffered minor leg injuries after their car skidded on black ice outside Conies Farm on Maplehurst Road, near Horsham.

They were out of their car when a second vehicle collided with it, again having skidded on ice.

At least 10 vehicles were involved in separate crashes after coming to grief on sheet ice on the B2141 at Chilgrove, near Chichester.

Ice caused chaos on the dual carriageway B2070 London Road near Rake, on the Sussex-Hampshire border as five vehicles left the road and collided with trees and the central reservation.

On the B2133 Harbolets Road near Billingshurst three vehicles collided, leading to it being closed between its junctions with Broadford Bridge Road and the B2139 Coolham Road.

Emergency services attended as all three drivers were reported to have suffered minor injuries with sheet ice present.

A woman driving along Dunsfold Road near Plaistow was left with chest and abdominal pains and a man driving another vehicle suffered shock when their vehicles collided.

Two cars left the road and collided with hedges at Barnsfold Farm, Loxwood, near Billingshurst and a car skidded into a ditch near Maple Farm in Marches Road, near Horsham.

A Met Office spokeswoman said their guidance reflected that temperatures were due to be ‘borderline’ in West Sussex on Monday night.

She said: “It became apparent in the early hours that the risk had increased and we issued an amended weather warning just before 2am on Tuesday morning , predicting road temperatures would fall below freezing in West Sussex between 5 and 6am.”

Police warned motorists to beware of sudden changes in temperature.

Comments (9)

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5:34am Wed 15 Jan 14

platelet says...

Regardless of whether it is predicted to be icy or not by the Met, do the council think it might be an idea to have crews on stand by in order to react to changes in conditions ?
It is not a lot to ask. Planning ?
Regardless of whether it is predicted to be icy or not by the Met, do the council think it might be an idea to have crews on stand by in order to react to changes in conditions ? It is not a lot to ask. Planning ? platelet
  • Score: 9

6:58am Wed 15 Jan 14

Boloney-marshal says...

You were desperately trying to save a few pennies, you phonies!
You were desperately trying to save a few pennies, you phonies! Boloney-marshal
  • Score: 6

8:17am Wed 15 Jan 14

Sussex jim says...

If car windows are frosted over when I go out, I assume there could be black ice in places, and drive accordingly leaving plenty of room to brake gently and take corners more slowly. It's quite simple,really.
If car windows are frosted over when I go out, I assume there could be black ice in places, and drive accordingly leaving plenty of room to brake gently and take corners more slowly. It's quite simple,really. Sussex jim
  • Score: 12

9:40am Wed 15 Jan 14

FC says...

Fourth year in a row? Will they learn? Nope.
Fourth year in a row? Will they learn? Nope. FC
  • Score: 6

12:24pm Wed 15 Jan 14

graham_Seagull says...

most of those incidents could have been avoided if people actually took notice of the conditions and were able to consider driving more cautiously than normal.
Unfortunately people are all to quick to blame someone else rather than blame their own lack of driving skills.
most of those incidents could have been avoided if people actually took notice of the conditions and were able to consider driving more cautiously than normal. Unfortunately people are all to quick to blame someone else rather than blame their own lack of driving skills. graham_Seagull
  • Score: 2

12:43pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Tweeted to both East & West Sussex County councils. ESCC responded positively although only the odd minor road was affected but WSCC - deafening silence.
Reminds me when I complained to WSCC a couple of years back about the lack of gritting on snow-covered roads when I had a lecture about not being able to see where gritters had been despite the clearest right turn evident towards Southwater off A272 near Buck Barn by a salt-depositing gritter and lack of salt on the main road west of said junction. Blithering bureaucrats!
Tweeted to both East & West Sussex County councils. ESCC responded positively although only the odd minor road was affected but WSCC - deafening silence. Reminds me when I complained to WSCC a couple of years back about the lack of gritting on snow-covered roads when I had a lecture about not being able to see where gritters had been despite the clearest right turn evident towards Southwater off A272 near Buck Barn by a salt-depositing gritter and lack of salt on the main road west of said junction. Blithering bureaucrats! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 4

1:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

gmgc81 says...

WSCC sound like typical Tories: always blaming something/someone else for their errors!
WSCC sound like typical Tories: always blaming something/someone else for their errors! gmgc81
  • Score: 2

2:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Brighton1000 says...

cant empty bins, cant grit roads, what a fab council we are blessed with
cant empty bins, cant grit roads, what a fab council we are blessed with Brighton1000
  • Score: 1

5:16pm Wed 15 Jan 14

LargeAndInCharge says...

Really makes you wonder where our taxes are going. Of course, silly me, it's all being spent on cycle lanes!!
Really makes you wonder where our taxes are going. Of course, silly me, it's all being spent on cycle lanes!! LargeAndInCharge
  • Score: 1

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