Winter bring its usual problems.

Residents urged to check local salt bins

As we wait for the inevitable icy weather residents are being urged to check that their local salt bins are full and free of litter.

Salt bin locations on “Local View” web site

Salt bin locations are plotted on the Street View services map Click here to access. Look under “street care” then “salt bins funded by CYC”. Councillors should have completed their pre-winter checks by now, but some may have been missed.

Another recurrent problem that will arise, as wetter weather becomes more frequent, is damage to grass verges. This is sometimes caused by poor parking but also is prevalent on street corners where large vehicles leave the carriageway.

Some wards make use of a delegated budget to provide off street “eco grid” style parking lay-bys.

Others use the option of hardening vulnerable areas like road junctions. Again matrix surfacing conserves green space and good drainage while protecting verges from damage.

Large scale building works have made verges in the Kingsway West area particularly vulnerable to vehicle run over damage this year

So which roads are open in York and where can I find a salt bin?

The York Council provides an “on line” map which shows public service locations. These include the primary and secondary road gritting (salting) routes which are mainly the major bus routes. click here to view (then click “street car”e on the map index and then pick the service you want to see)

The Council also provides an update service on Twitter @yorkgritter

In addition the map shows the location of self help salt bins and the areas covered by VOLUNTEER snow wardens. The latter do their best to keep local paths open but not all neighbourhoods are covered..

Salt bins do not fill themselves so, if you see an empty one, then please report it to the Council  on York 551550 or “on line


Slippery footpaths today

A lot of footpaths in the city are icy today.

If your local salt bin is not full please ask your local Councillor to arrange for it to be refilled. Alternatively report on line

Salt bin locations can be found by clicking here

The lid missing from the salt bin in Woodford Place is to be repaired by the York Council

Recently Westfield Councillor Andrew Waller asked for bins to be refilled at the following locations

  • Outside 190 Askham Lane
  • Bottom of hill Parker Avenue
  • Bachelor Hill
  • Beechwood Glade (junction with Huntsman’s Walk)
  • Kingsthorpe


Time to get salt bins repaired and filled

A quick check of the salt bins in the Westfield area yesterday revealed that most have salt in them. In some cases this has been left over from previous years – last winter was particularly mild.

Most had been used as litter bins and several had been vandalised with the lid hinges broken in many cases.

The Council promised to complete a review of it’s salt bins in September but nothing seems to have come of this. No attempt was made during the summer to recover the bins for maintenance. We hope the new Council will order that the bins be refurbished in the spring.

In the meantime – before we get the inevitable snow – the litter needs to be removed and the bins topped up where necessary.

A map of the location of salt bins in York can be accessed by clicking here

Empty and damaged salt bin on Dijon Avenue still not relocated away from former school entrance

Empty and damaged salt bin on Dijon Avenue still not relocated away from former school entrance

Salt bin on Tennent Road empty

Salt bin on Tennent Road empty

Kingsway West salt bin empty

Kingsway West salt bin empty

Hinges broken on Askham Grove bin

Hinges broken on Askham Grove bin

Rubbish in salt bin in Kingsthorpe

Rubbish in salt bin in Kingsthorpe

Spindle Close - full of rubbish

Spindle Close – full of rubbish

Dumping on the Cornlands Road park has been reported

Dumping on the Cornlands Road park has been reported



York Council open day on ice clearance as residents kept in dark over salt bin plans

Gritting LorryCity of York Council’s winter maintenance team is inviting residents to find out more about how the council tackles winter weather during a special open event at the council’s depot on James Street.

On Saturday 31 October between 10am to 12pm, visitors will get the chance to have a close-up look of the fleet of gritters, snow ploughs and salt spreaders, as well as see the salt barn which is home to over 3,000 tonnes of salt

The open day will provide residents with the opportunity to prepare for the winter months ahead, where frontline teams will be on-hand to offer winter advice.

It also falls on the first ‘dry run’ weekend of the year, where crews will be carrying out gritting test runs in York ahead of the start of the winter season.

The announcement comes at a time when residents are still waiting to here about the future of their local salt bins.

The last Labour led Council chose to scrap many of these self help bins while others have been left out all year round.

Cllr Sue Hunter on a steep footpath on Front Street where acces to a salt bin is essential for safety

Cllr Sue Hunter on a steep footpath on Front Street where acces to a salt bin is essential for safety

Many have been damaged while others are still full of rubbish.

The Liberal Democrats pledged at the recent election to improve the network of bins so an early announcement of changes was expected.

Throughout the gritting season, between November and March, crews are on-hand to work 24/7 to help keep York’s roads open. Last year, crews used 3,927 tonnes of salt over 72 separate ‘grit runs’ , travelling 43,054 km to treat 71,460km of highway.

Cllr Ian Gillies, Executive Member for Transport and Planning, said: “Our open day will enable residents to hear from the frontline team direct about how the council tackles winter weather to help to keep our roads open 24/7 over the gritting season. We encourage everyone to join us during the open event to help them prepare for the winter months ahead.”

. For more information about the winter services in York visit .Or, follow @YorkGritter on Twitter for regular updates.

York Council neglect still to be addressed

Fly tipping on Council garage areas

Fly tipping on Council garage areas

Leaves blocking drains in Green Lane

Leaves blocking drains in Green Lane

With the York Council seemingly preoccupied with internal political discussions, service standards continue to decline.

There is a lack of preparedness for winter. Salt bins have no lids and the contents are leeching onto the streets and adding to the problems with blocked gullies.

Some bus routes – including the number 26 which provides a  lifeline service for elderly people living in the Windsor Garth and St Stephens Road areas – are still excluded from the de-icing schedules with little chance of a review before the worst of the winter weather hits the City.

Bus stop waitng areas over gorwn

Bus stop waiting areas over grown

Salt bins left without lids. This one is in Woodford Place

Salt bins left without lids. This one is in Woodford Place

Perhaps the worst examples of neglect can be found  on some of the City’s Council estates. Areas without an active residents association fare particularly badly with many communal areas, garage forecourts and verges all in a desperate condition



“Salt bins being checked, repaired and filled” – York Council

Salt bins filled with rubbish

Salt bins filled with rubbish

Following our story of a few days ago, the Council has said that it is checking all salt bins.

Where necessary they are being repaired before being filled with salt.

Hopefully they will also remove the accumulated rubbish and update the salt bin map displayed on their web site.

Andrew Waller is actively pressing for some of the salt bins in the Westfield area – axed 2 years ago by Labour – to be reinstated,.

York Council must be ‘ready for winter’

Cllr Andrew Waller with one of the salt bins that he has asked to be refurbished and refilled

Cllr Andrew Waller with one of the salt bins that he has asked to be refurbished and refilled




Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Labour run City of York Council to be properly prepared for winter and not to gamble on continuing mild weather.


The warning comes amid growing concerns that York will not be able to cope with snowy and icy weather following cuts to the winter maintenance budget.


Since 2011 Labour has cut the council’s winter budget every year and last year took 30 miles of road off the priority gritting list and stopped funding two-thirds of salt bins. Whilst Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners worked with parish councils and residents groups to save some salt bins, many were still lost.


Council budget cuts meant that despite last year’s mild weather, York still overspent its winter budget by around £100,000 leading to fears how it will cope with bad weather this year.

Now Lib Dem councillors have written to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible calling on the council to make sure it is ‘ready for winter’ and to work with local residents to identify gaps in provision.


Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, commented:


“Despite the recent mild weather I have spoken to many residents in recent weeks who are asking for salt bins to be replaced and roads to be put back on gritting routes as we approach winter. Residents have also raised concerns about salt bins which have been left to rot and are now without lids or full of rubbish.


“Last year the council was fortunate to have a particularly mild winter, but it must make sure it is ready for winter this year and able to cope if more seasonal weather comes in the next few months. It needs to work with local residents and community groups to identify and tackle gaps in provision. These frontline services need to be the priority rather than Labour’s vanity projects in the city-centre.


“While I am pleased to see that the snow warden service is restarting – now in its fourth season having been brought in by the previous Lib Dem administration – this team of volunteers needs proper support from the council, and officers who work hard to keep the city running need support from the top.”



Liberal Democrat councillors have sent the following letter to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible:


Salt bins – 121 fail to find new parents

snow_wardensThe Council has admitted that only a handful of threatened salt bins have found new sponsors.

The remaining 121 bins are now set to be removed.

  • 31 salt bins are being taken over by Parish Councils
  • 6 are being adopted by Residents Associations
  • 2 others have been sponsored by other groups

Meanwhile the last Council meeting heard that the total number of “snow wardens” in the City has increased to 208.

Their postcodes can now be viewed on a map (click here)

The spread of “snow wardens” across the City is very uneven.

Council gets salt bin calculations wrong

Snow in York

The Council has published the “scores” that it gave when assessing which salt bins should be removed.

The list for Westfield can be viewed by clicking here.

The form used to allocate “marks” can be seen here (same for the whole of the City)

What is immediately obvious from the “scores” is that some potentially very hazardous routes (including St Stephens Mews and the Grove Terrace snicket) fared badly because they were judged to be on the normal precautionary gritting routes.

In reality the gritting Lorries never get near enough to these areas to have any effect on the ice.

Meanwhile our story last month about the poor take up of snow warden posts seems to have shamed some residents into action.

Some Tory Councillors are reported as having volunteered.

This news came soon after a question was tabled at last weeks Council meeting asking whether the responsible Cabinet member (Cllr Levene) would be out and about clearing snow?

Maps showing the general location of snow wardens can be found by clicking here.

Advice on clearing the footpath in front of your own home can be found here

The Council have been out and about replacing some of the grit bins (Linnet Way, Cornlands Road) which they threaten to remove, so the right hand doesn’t seem to know what the left hand is doing.

The Council’s map of salt bin locations can be found here.

All of which may be academic as the long term weather forecast shows mild weather continuing into January!!