Wintry weather continues to bite
THE last snowfall might be thawing, but with the possibility of more wintry conditions on their way, people throughout the Scarborough area are bracing themselves for more inconvenience.
Over the past couple of weeks children have missed school, public transport has been disrupted, sports matches and other events have been cancelled, some older people have been confined to their homes and many pedestrians have fallen on icy footpaths or roads.
There have also been a number of floods affecting business and other premises, many of them caused by burst pipes, while some venues were closed for health and safety reasons.
The Tesco store in Burniston Road was closed on Sunday due to a flood, the toilets in the Brunswick centre were closed yesterday due to burst pipes, Pindar Sports Centre was closed for two nights last week due to the freezing conditions and even the astroturf was unplayable for two days.
In Filey, the dental clinic in Station Avenue has only just reopened after being closed all last week due to flooding caused by a burst pipe.
Practice manager Stef Lenigan said: “I walked through the door last Monday and got soaking wet because water was pummelling through the ceiling. The downstairs area was soaked in up to two inches of water.
“We’ve managed to clear the practice as much as possible, but there are no carpets on the floor and we’ve got to wait for the damp reading to improve before we can replace it. At least now it’s safe and we can treat patients.
“We were lucky that a practice in Hunmanby was able to take our emergency patients last week, and we’re working our hardest to catch up with missed appointments.”
While many pupils were happy enough to miss at least a couple of days at school last week, some parents have asked why schools and their staff cannot be more resilient in the face of wintry conditions. Schools outside of Scarborough town have been the worst affected – not just due to heavier snowfall and more treacherous conditions but because staff travel and school buses have been affected.
Debbie Mears, of Filey, was not impressed to learn that Filey infant and junior schools were closed again yesterday. She said: “That is now five days my husband has had to take time off work, for which he does not get paid. Why are they allowed to get away with it? If you keep your child off school you are blasted for it, a touch of snow and they are allowed to close, depriving my children of their education. Who is going to replace my husband’s wages? Nobody.”
Filey Junior School headteacher Harvey McCarthey, who previously worked at a rural school in the Whitby area, said he fully expected the West Road school to re-open on Monday, but had to re-evaluate that position after hearing reports of the conditions on the ground.
Mr McCarthey, who lives in Scarborough, said: “It was just like any other day we’ve had to close the school – it was for the safety of staff getting into the school, and for parents and pupils. We have staff coming from a lot further afield and we don’t like having to close the school halfway through the day. We do sympathise with parents, and it’s not ideal having to close the school, so we try to re-open as soon as we can.”
Although Scarborough town centre and all the main roads have been well gritted for the most part, residential areas and side streets have been left for private individuals to do their own snow clearing and gritting.
A resident of Esplanade Gardens noted that once again uncleared pack snow and ice were making the streets of Scarborough and the surrounding district hazardous to pedestrians and asked: “Why cannot community service offenders be deployed at the break of dawn, under the supervision of council staff, simply to scatter builders’ sand on the frozen streets?
“No skills or special training are needed, and this would provide an instant solution to the problem.”
Cllr Godfrey Allanson, who lives in Muston and did some of his own snow clearing and gritting in the village, said it was a controversial suggestion, but he supported the use of offenders to clear the streets. However, he also believed that the county council should ring-fence a bit more money for gritting on lower priority routes as businesses and shops also lost out when staff and customers struggled to travel.
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Weather for Scarborough
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 32 mph
Wind direction: North east