Call to keep all paths ice-free

Pavements glassy with sheet ice forcing pedestrians to walk in the road. Pictured, is Dean Road.'100504b pic Andrew Higgins

Pavements glassy with sheet ice forcing pedestrians to walk in the road. Pictured, is Dean Road.'100504b pic Andrew Higgins

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A CHARITY is urging councils to do everything they can to help avoid the danger of icy pavements – which proved a huge problem in Scarborough last year.

Living Streets is calling for pavements to be cleared and gritted as a priority to help prevent some of the 16,000 snow and ice related hospital admissions recorded in England alone during the winter of 2009/10.

A spokesman from the charity said: “Snow and ice cause problems across the UK each winter, but whilst our roads are routinely gritted, our pavements are often neglected, turning them into dangerous ice rinks for pedestrians.

“Icy pavements can cause problems for anyone who wants to walk to the shops, to work, or even the local bus stop.

“But if you’re older, disabled or have a pushchair, these dangerous conditions can make it impossible to venture outdoors.”

Councils have a legal duty to ensure that safe movement on the highway - including on pavements - is not endangered by snow or ice.

Living Streets is calling for councils to work with local communities to make sure that everyone can get around safely and without slipping or falling on icy pavements.

Chief executive Tony Armstrong said: “Living Streets doesn’t want a repeat of previous years, where people have felt vulnerable and in some cases completely isolated by ice on our pavements.

“With nearly four in five short journeys made on foot, it’s time that the needs of people on foot are taken seriously.”

A spokesman from North Yorkshire County Council said that during periods of prolonged heavy snowfall, pavements will only be treated after the main carriageway routes have been cleared. The priority order is then main shopping areas and pedestrian routes, followed by other important pavements and shopping areas.