Thursday, 24 January 2019

Town prepared for the arrival of severe winter weather

WATLINGTON has drawn up a winter plan in case of bad weather.

The aim is to maintain access to the town and ensure that people can move safely in the main areas.

The parish council, which compiled the plan, is not responsible for gritting the roads but says it will do what it can to ensure that pedestrian access to the main shopping areas is kept clear.

The document says: “Once the core has been made safe, a wider area such as medical facilities, the primary school and library may be considered for treatment if manpower and supplies suffice. Government guidelines state that you can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. It is unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully.

“Nonetheless, ba snow-clearer does have a duty to clear with reasonable care so as not to create a new and worse risk.

“It is the responsibility of all property owners to ensure safe walking conditions over their own property between pavement and front door before opening their doors to the public.

“The plan, in essence, is that nobody in the parish should feel isolated or abandoned in the event of severe winter weather, especially through snow or ice.” Roads that are gritted by Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, are Cuxham Road, Brook Street, Couching Street, Shirburn Street, Hill Road, Ingham Lane, Britwell Road, Spring Lane, Howe Road and Love Lane.

The other roads covered are the B480 for Stonor or Cuxham, the B4009 for Lewknor or Benson, the B481 for Nettlebed and the road from the B481 through Christmas Common to the A40.

The document says: “These routes maintain vehicle access to the schools in Love Lane, shops and services in Couching Street/Shirburn Street and the medical centre on Hill Road. None of the side streets in town is gritted by the county, making access/egress for all drivers difficult after heavy snow.”

If the parish council is able to grit any pavements, it will prioritise High Street, the area around the town hall and Couching Street in order to maintain access to the pharmacy and Co-op store.

Other keys areas will be the Hill Road car park, Gorwell in order to 
maintain access to the fire station, Old School Place to maintain access to the parish office and Church Street for access to the public conveniences.

The plan will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

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