Frustrated residents have criticised officials for padlocking a grit box.

People living in the Seaside Road area of Lancing say that they have been unable to grit their own roads during the recent icy and snowy weather as the box has remained locked, despite requests to open it.

However confusion remains as to who is responsible for the box, which is on the junction of King’s Road and Seaside Avenue.

Yesterday The Argus contacted representatives from Lancing Parish Council, Adur District Council and West Sussex County Council to try to find out who is responsible for the box.

A spokesman for the county council said: “Lancing Parish Council purchased the box and we think the key holder may have returned the key to them. We will fill the box with grit if asked.”

However Councillor Ann Bridges, chairwoman of the parish council and a district councillor for the Widewater ward, said: “I am not aware of it belonging to the parish council. I have spoken to our West Sussex County Councillor Robert Dunn who reported the locked box to the Highways Agency before Christmas and he was told it would be unlocked the next day.

“This is something I will pursue.”