The chairman of governors at a school in Abbots Langley has hit out at Hertfordshire County Council for failing to grit roads outside the school.
Declan Lombard, head of Divine Saviour School’s board of governors, has claimed the council repeatedly fails to grit Broomfield Rise in preparation for adverse weather conditions.
The 48-year-old father-of-three said: “As part of the safer routes to school programme, kerbs along Broomfield Rise were dropped.
“As a result, if the road ices over, any vehicles travelling along Broomfield Rise will skid and potentially mount the kerb - it does not matter how safely you drive.
“No-one wants to see a child killed, but I fear if this road isn’t gritted, that may well be the case.
“We have repeatedly asked the county council to grit the road, but have been told that as it is not a main road, they will not do so.
“Although the weather is mild at the moment, this issue needs to be addressed. We can’t have the road as unsafe as it was when we had the recent heavy snow. It was like an ice rink.”
According to Mr Lombard, the county council has suggested that parents and staff grit the road if they are bothered about the conditions. But Mr Lombard has expressed outrage at the suggestion.
The Trowley Rise resident said: “What do we pay our Council Tax for? The suggestion is ludicrous. Staff go to the effort of getting into school and ensuring it is open for the children. Parents go to the effort of getting their children to class.
“It is not the job of teachers or parents to grit the roads for the council.
“Not gritting roads has an impact on entire families. If children can’t get into school, then parents can’t work.
“I work on the railways and we do everything we can to make sure trains are running. I don’t see why the council can’t ensure the roads are safe.”
Mr Lombard further claimed that even if staff and students managed to get to school in icy weather, delivery lorries would struggle, resulting in no food for pupils come lunchtime.
He said: “The whole situation is appalling. If the council does not change its mind we will be petitioning. This isn’t just about the school students, it’s a residential road. It’s only a matter of time before there’s an accident.
“I will not let this rest.”
Conservative County Councillor Stuart Pile said it was the council’s priority to keep main roads in the county as safe as possible.
He said: "Broomfield Rise is on our secondary salting route, which means that, while we would like to salt the road, during cold weather we are unlikely to be able to do so because our priority is keeping the main routes clear.
“There is a salt bin on the road so there is salt available for use by the local community on the road and pavements. Hazelwood Lane, which is a short walk from the school, is on the main salting route.
"There have been some great examples both in this and previous winters of communities getting together to help clear minor routes, leaving Hertfordshire Highways to focus on keeping busy roads safe.”