Stranded

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…
Looking Uphill
Downhill

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.

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10 Thoughts to “Stranded”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Graeme_Skinner: Last rant of the year http://bit.ly/8tuqUM please RT ;-)…

  2. oh dear Graeme. This is insane. Really insane.

    At least, living in Haute Savoie, snow is not a problem at all. Roads are salted (and even over salted sometimes) and people all know how to deal with snow.
    I’m wondering though if the rural parts have as much attention as us, town’s people.
    Anyway I hope your situation will improve. Maybe organize all people suffering of this problem and all invest in a ‘chasse neige’ ? or in a snow fight squad? Or hassle those council people until they DO something. Take some of your snow and burry their cars under it? nah, maybe a bit extreme…
    Anyway, big hugs to you both and thanks for your lovely card (not sure I told you so) and BIG BIG hugs to Jools, and merry christmas and all the best for the new year.
    Nadine

    1. Thanks Nadine, and many thanks for your card (I can’t remember who I’ve thanked it’s been hectic ;-)). No one really knows why the Council don’t clear the roads, when you think they had plenty of warning bad weather was coming.

  3. Don’t even get me started on such things. OK most of our roads are cleared, well I live in a place where a meter of snow is perfectly normal and wouldn’t deter anyone. And the city is well organised for such things. I’m not sure how rural roads are dealt with, but most people are still able to get out from their homes. I think that it’s the farmers who get organised and clear the smaller roads. I should ask my friends about this.

    But we also have some pretty dense politicians, who make nice projects that cost lots of money only to find out that the materials used will not withstand our climates? And do they learn out if the mistakes? No they do even worse the next year. And of course we get told every year how the finances are so bad because of the crisis and how we must give up any hopes of better time, better salaries and any more financial help for health or culture? The worst is the state of our hospitals etc, it’s really better to die fast and not need any sort of care. And to say we’re supposed to live in a rich country.
    I wish I could stop paying taxes but with what I earn it wouldn’t really attract attention and would maybe land me in jail.

    I suppose it’s the same thing all over the world. There I also got my rant out 😉

    1. I’d like to see winter conditions in a country where they know how to cope with it; or at least not need the car to get anywhere (you have a rail system that cuts out the need for so many car journeys).

  4. It’s not just a rural problem, unless you’re by a priority 1 road you’ve been stuck the past week. Majority of people in Kendal have not been able to use their cars, we’ve got 6 inchs of snow on our street still (now ice).

    1. I saw Kendal on the local news, it did not look much fun.

      1. The hospital would of been kept busy over the past week, but everyone rallyed around and helped those that were struggling.

        I’ve posted a note on my blog with some links to what the county council commit to, was surprised the district council have nothing to do with gritting roads/paths

  5. Up here just below Hartside there is one one road you can use to get in and out of the village – and only then with extreme care. Last Wednesday I had to dig the car out of 10 inches of snow for a mission of mercy – we were running out of food and wine. It started the thaw yesterday but then snowed again in the afternoon and now freezing hard.

    No post since a week on Friday. We have a postman who lives in the village who managed to get to work and all kudos to him as he bought the mail in on his way home on Christmas Eve.

    I will be asking the council how much rebate I am due on my council tax.

  6. I had been watching someone filming their motorbike (Triumph) journey from Hartside cafe to Langwathby on YouTube, and some of the road surfaces looked bloody awful. At first, I thought the film must have been quite a few years old, but after reading this I dunno now?

    Maybe we ought to put together a short film demonstrating the fact that this council of yours lacks the ‘true grit’ its communities pay for in their taxes, and who rightly deserve.

    Nice countryside that, though I can’t imagine I’d be able to both take in the enjoyment of the scenery and drive at the same time.

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