3:30pm Wednesday 30th January 2013
By Tom Jennings
CHIPPING Norton town councillors were ready to leap into action when heavy snow carpeted the town two weeks ago.
The council has leased two specially-equipped quad bikes for the winter to help clear snow from the streets.
The machines are fitted with mini-snowploughs and salt spreaders.
Deputy mayor Mike Tysoe said: “On some roads it made an enormous difference. If it hadn’t been done, Chipping Norton would have come to a complete standstill.
“The unique thing about Chipping Norton is that we don’t have one road that’s level. They either go up and down across the hill or straight down it.”
The bikes were in action for about 40 hours after the snowfall, and helped to clear about 90 per cent of the town’s roads and pavements.
The town, which is the highest in Oxfordshire, saw about 10cm (5in) of snow.
A team of about 30 volunteers joined councillors to help clear away the snow and lay salt on roads which are not visited by county council gritters, which concentrate on keeping the A44, A361 and the A3400 clear for traffic.
Mr Tysoe said: “They have done a fantastic job on those routes.”
Since the problems caused by heavy snow in 2010 and 2011, the town council has bought 17 walking salt spreaders, 20 snow shovels and 60 grit bins to store salt at key locations.
After many bin rounds were missed for safety reasons last week, due to the difficult road conditions in the area, staff from West Oxfordshire District Council’s waste collection contractor, May Gurney, are hard at work this week catching up with collections.
Crews were out on Saturday morning to start work to clear the backlog.
The council is advising households where grey wheelie bins were not emptied last week to put them out again on the next scheduled grey bin collection, along with any excess rubbish, which should be bagged up.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group