It’s nice to live in a rural location, and it would be hard to imagine living in a town after spending so much time looking out over the green fields of the Eden Valley. However there are times when I question the sanity of it.
As many people will know it snowed recently in many parts of the UK, which is all nice and seasonal; looking out over the snow covered Pennines certainly puts you in the mood for hiding inside by the fire and watching terrible Christmas TV but there are times when it would be nice to get in the car and go for a few essentials. To many people this is a fairly simple task even in winter, because for many people the council have been around and treated their roads with layer after layer of grit. Outside of the UK where people have snow on a regular basis then they know how to handle a bit of snow, either their local authorities clear the roads or they have snow tyres or snow chains on hand. Anyway, back to Cumbria and the lack of action on behalf of Cumbria County Council.
For some reason there is a policy in place within Cumbria County Council which states they’ll clear priority routes first and then secondary routes when they get round to them (I don’t know the wording, I have more interesting things to do with my time other than reading through reams of legal speak from the Council). The upshot of Cumbria County Councils policy is that small roads are ignored; yes, they provided a pile of grit some time ago, but this grit has been subject to weeks of rain which washed half of it away, flattened by farm vehicles, used as a toilet by every passing dog, and finally covered in snow.
This is the view up and down hill from our lane end…
It would not be so bad if you thought the Council were actually trying to deal with the roads and would get round to these little roads eventually, however you only have to read the Council Chiefs comments in the local newspaper “…but also that people moving to rural Cumbria know what they are letting themselves in for.” So essentially everyone that lives out of town should be prepared to look after themselves as the Council don’t want to know – they do want to know of course that we’ll all be paying our taxes to keep them employed, I’m sure if everyone who lived in these rural locations that Cumbria County Council actively ignore decided to withhold their taxes then they would soon notice we existed again. Perhaps that’s the solution, someone should work out how much of our taxes go towards services that we’ll never benefit from in rural locations and we can have a rebate. After all why should I pay for the Council to clear roads if I can never reach them?
Perhaps all the people who live in rural locations in Cumbria should contact Cumbria County Council and ask for the Council Chief who made the above comment to explain themselves, or maybe our local MP’s could spend some time in the area and put some pressure on the Council to actually recognize that routes other than the priority ones may need some attention at times. Oh yes, before anyone says I should grit the road myself, the grit pile is now totally flat, no one is answering at the Council to request more grit (and the last time I spoke to someone, last winter funnily enough, it took two to three months for the grit piles to be replenished).
One quote of a rural resident on the News & Star website regarding the Councils inactivity says it all really “When we complained to the council, they told me we shouldn’t have moved in here if we weren’t going to be able to get out.”
It’s my last rant of the year, honest.
Quotes taken from News & Star
Photographs were of the road between B6412 and Stagstone Road, Penrith.