A decision to cut 49km of roads from its pre-snow gritting routes has caused an opposing political group to launch a petition demanding a rethink.

Hertfordshire County Council has decided to reduce the number of roads that would be gritted when bad winter weather was forecast including 63 roads in Three Rivers and Watford.

The Liberal Democrats have now launched a petition demanding Hertfordshire County Council reconsider their decision.

They voted against the council’s Winter Operational Plan which included these changes and removed a number of key roads that have school access on them including Bromet School, Oxhey Road, Holy Rood School, Greenbanks, Cherry Tree School, Beechwood Rise and Grove Academy in Garston.

The roads will now only be gritted after the snow if the weather conditions remain despite them being gritted before the snow last year.

Central Watford and Oxhey Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said: "The removal of these and other roads will only save the County Council £12 to £15,000 but it could mean misery for residents and especially parents who until now had the road gritted in advance of snow fall.

"I think this a dangerous and foolhardily cost cutting measure. The County Council has a duty to provide schooling but is turning its back on these and other school.

"This very cut will most likely mean that schools will close because parents, children and teachers will find it that much more difficult to get access because the roads are not gritted.

"I also find it a double hit that whilst county councillors have a small budget they are not allowed to fund new grit bins on the highway that parents and residents could use."

Terry Douris, councillor responsible for in charge of highways, said the plans had been well considered.

"This is typical of the Liberal Democrats to create fear mongering among the people," Cllr Douris.

"We have a recognised plan in place to continue to grit the roads with main bus routes.

"We need to say this is for pre-gritting the roads before anything has fallen from the sky when the ground looks like it may freeze.

"All roads which will be gritted will be published on the website."

To sign the petition visit: http://tinyurl.com/HertsSnow