“Winter chaos” predicted for Fife streets

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A councillor has predicted winter chaos throughout the Kingdom, as Fife Council removes more grit bins.

Fife Council removed 200 grit bins from the streets of north east Fife last year, leaving 500 in place.

However, the local authority is planning to remove another 200 before this winter, noting that the decision had been made due to its “limited resources”.

Howe of Fife and Tay Coast Councillor Andy Heer has predicted that the first frost this winter will “bring chaos to the Kingdom’s streets and roads” after the grit bins were removed.

He claimed pavements and streets “were left ungritted” last year, leaving the public to grit their own streets.

He added: “We are told that Fife has too many grit bins. We have the bins now and if a grit bin is sitting on the street and is not being used then it doesn’t cost anything because it won’t have to be refilled – but at least it’s there if it is needed.

“We’re now seeing grit bins being removed wholesale from rural roads and village streets.

“What they haven’t counted is the cost to the rural economy as villages and businesses are isolated, people are unable to get to work or the shops, not to mention the human misery and the cost to the NHS as people fall and slip on icy roads and pavements.”

Fife Council’s roads and transportation senior manager, Derek Crowe, said a winter service policy review had been carried out.

He added: “As part of this, we assessed the existing supply of grit bins with a view to reducing the number of bins to a more sustainable level given our limited resources.

“We have started to remove bins from priority gritting routes, from places where there are a lot of bins serving a small area and particularly those where we’ve seen low demand. We’ve also consulted with local councillors about particular issues or hotspots in their area.

“Unfortunately, we cannot afford to service all the grit bins we used to have but, if residents think there is a particular case for keeping a bin in a specific location, we are happy to discuss concerns.”