Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Children forced to walk in road because of icy pavements round schools in Livingston

It's now more than a week since the last major snowfall in Livingston, yet paths round schools have not yet been made safe. The snow has thawed a bit and refrozen, meaning that the pavements are now covered in treacherous sheet ice. Just to add a bit of extra danger into the mix, two weeks of irresponsible dog owners failing to clean up after their animals comes to light as the snow melts away. Utterly disgusting.

Parents dropping their children off at St John Ogilvie Primary School in Livingston were yesterday confronted with no safe way of getting into the school. Many took the safest option they could see, which was to park up and walk their children along the middle of the road. Traffic is always crazy around there at school opening and closing times even in the most benign and temperate of circumstances. With paths impassable, people who would normally walk took their cars. The potential for something horrendous to happen is high.

Conditions round some schools are, I think, less safe than they were last week. With my daughter having missed most of the last two weeks because the schools were shut, I'm reluctant to deny her the chance to catch up. I also want to be sure that she's going to come home to me in one piece, but I can't be given the appalling conditions on the paths.

I would have thought that pavements around schools would have been given one of the highest priorities and I find it worrying that it hasn't been done. I know that there are only limited diggers - and it is diggers that are needed now that the snow has frozen and compacted to the extent that no spade on earth will go through it. However this just is not good enough and urgent action is needed.

UPDATE: After I'd brought this to the attention of 3 local councillors, they intervened and the area was cleared on Tuesday. Thankfully. I actually have four local councillors, but Cllr John Cochrane has the dubious distinction of never having replied to any e-mail I've sent him. Cllrs Andrew Miller, Robert De Bold and Bruce Ferrie all replied promptly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's just as bad here in Cupar. Our road was ploughed (onto one pavement) because we're on the school bus route. On the other pavement, a digger has come along and piled snow and ice into piles taller than me. A fine example of that is piles on three corners at a mini roundabout so no-one, car or pedestrian can see whats coming, about 200m from a primary school. And it appears that zebra crossings outside schools are clearly fantastic places to dump piles of snow. In some parts of the town, the piles have been loaded onto lorries and driven away... with the exception of the bottom two feet of snow that the digger can't scoop up. So a five minute walk to school is now a hair-raising 15. I honestly believe that the public has to take some responsibility for helping dig out the snow, when the council is so overwhelmed, but in several cases around this town, the council has hindered rather than helped. But hey, the roads are all clear for drivers. Shame about the pedestrians, children, elderly, people with prams or those in wheelchairs!


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