How we coped with the snow. Your letters
Many thanks to all the inconsiderate people in Rawmarsh who have cleared their drives and roads and piled the snow onto the pavement totally blocking it for anyone who has to walk.
Yes there are still people who walk! I have had to walk into icy roads and on several occasions I have walked over their gardens because I cannot walk on the pavement.
I have cleared my drive and piled the snow onto my property even though I had to work harder to do that but I would not dream of blocking a footpath.
I know this bad weather has proved to be a trying time for all of us but please use some common sense when clearing snow.
Disgruntled Rawmarsh Walker
Sir—Why does Britain grind to a halt at the first sign of heavy snow?
With due deference to the gritters and back-up staff, I can't see why we should spend so much money as a nation on inefficient windmills and other climate change initiatives, leaving us so little money to be allocated to the real needs of keeping our roads open, footpaths cleared, schools open and the business of our nation going.
We didn't close many schools in 1946/47. We all walked to school (the snow was over my wellies whilst walking across the park), the councils cleared the footpaths and side roads and business was almost as usual.
John Wilkinson, secretary, UKIP Rotherham.
Sir—A big thanks to our staff at Asda who last Wednesday managed to walk in to work and keep the store open, also to the team of staff that cleared and gritted the pathways.
The store was a lifeline to many with a lot of local shops running out of essential items. Thank you once again
Claire Cadman (Mrs), Dalton Lane, Dalton, Rotherham.
Sir—Dipsey, Laa Laa , Po and I no understand why, with 4,000 tonnes of salt stored in the Teletubbyland igloo at the Hellaby Depot, it took from last Tuesday evening to Friday lunch time to get the Rotherham buses running back into Maltby.
Tinky Winky (letter forwarded by Alice Rodgers, Maltby Environmental Group).
Sir—Once again snow shuts down everything, leaving Joe public to get around on shanks’s pony.
So why do we never ever see the pavements gritted. Also much used access routes for pedestrians into housing estates etc, never ever get gritted.
Come on Rotherham Borough Council and parish councils, time to get your act together. After all it’s not rocket science.
A few shovels full of grit here and there would make a lot of difference to a lot of people getting around safely.
Robert Moxon (by email).
Sir—Heartfelt thanks go out to all the carers who have managed to get out and help me look after my mother.
This weather is even worse than the beginning of the year and they have managed to get through, even without the assistance of cars and local transport.
This group of workers deserves a pat on the back—and I mean the entire group not just the ones that visit mum.
I would also like to thank the people of Anston who have shown true Yorkshire hospitality to the drivers stuck on the A57.
(Name and address supplied).
Sir—Listening to the radio this morning I heard one local council admit it had not cleared some major routes because the road had speed bumps and so they could not use snow ploughs on them.
Is this why the Dale Hill Road area of Maltby was cut off for six days?
If this was the case have we to assume that if it snows in future Dale Hill Road will not be cleared until it's possible for the gritters to get around without snow ploughing the road first?
J. Clarke, Dale Hill Close, Maltby.
Sir—The residents of Greencroft Close, aged from 87 to 23, live in a development of 13 bungalows for the elderly and infirm and right now we feel as if we are in Alaska.
Of the 17 residents nine of us are dependant on our cars to get out and about.
We know that we are not the only ones to have suffered during the severe weather conditions but nevertheless think that a little more could have been done to help us.
When one resident managed to speak someone they were told they were too busy.
One elderly resident deserves a medal for the amount of snow he has moved this week, but we all worked together to try and establish a way out.
We are a group of people who are genuinely in need of help and with some forward planning hopefully we will all find it easier next time to try to help ourselves as not one of us wishes to become a burden on society.
All we ask for is what we think we deserve—a little more help from official departments.
My severely disabled son is totally dependant on me for all his needs, so I would like to thank the two young dieticians who walked from the hospital with seven bottles of his special nutritional milk.
Thanks also go to the delivery man who made it through to our nearest contact with civilisation, approximately 250 yards away, and a willing volunteer, Iris, helped me carry ten boxes of milk, each weighing roughly two stones, up the dreaded slope covered in deep snow to my home.
Pat Evans, Greencroft Close, Rotherham.
Sir—I live on Psalters Lane and despite requests for grit for the bin opposite my house we have received none.
However, helped by a neighbour we set about digging our cars out and clearing the road in front of our homes (where there is on-street parking).
We did this for some hours and made good headway in front of our properties, digging right over to the other side of the road but walked up the road to place the snow out of the way of the people opposite and around us.
Imagine our surprise when these very same people, who had sat idly in their homes not lifting a finger to help, then came and moved their cars into the space we had cleared for our own.
I know that on-street parking is exactly that but found this selfish act unbelievable.
When I was a child it was commonplace for people to clear snow from the front of their homes to enable all to keep moving.
So can someone please explain to me what has gone wrong in our society that makes us so lacking in common decency and moral fibre?
Tracy Molloy (by email).
Sir—I enjoyed reading the Advertiser last weekend, especially as I realised how much effort must have gone into getting it published against the odds.
The front page really reflected the week's events of people being able to walk down the middle of the main roads with no fear of seeing any traffic on Wednesday morning.
The sour note came when I read about those two bus drivers committing themselves to walking into work all the way from Maltby in order to get everyone else on their way to work, only to be refused a hot drink by some jobsworths.
They were backed in their decision by the company as well. This is not a good message to get across is it, that the fear of being sued will override a decent act of providing them with something that they obviously needed.
I think most of us would have simply reached for a kettle and made them a drink, free of charge, if the company wanted to know why there was a disparity in their accounts at the end of the day.
Am I the only one who wishes they could have been in the position of making them that drink and congratulating them for the effort they had made on the behalf of so many people?
Anna Saripo, Pleasley Road, Whiston, Rotherham.
Sir—The adverse weather conditions currently affecting the country have illustrated perfectly the need to prioritise spending on road maintenance, our people and the delivery of first class public services.
To those council employees struggling to clear our roads against the background of budget restrictions, and to our emergency service personnel struggling through abysmal conditions to assist others, I say thank you very much for all you do.
The political elite currently sitting in Westminster have, collectively, been responsible (along with their predecessors) of playing games of intellectual one-up-manship in the promotion of their own specific political ideologies at he expense of the public they were elected to serve.
This absurdity has continued for far too long and we now have a country where the rights of criminals take precedence over the rights of victims, where sense and reason are absent from the decision making process in the advancement of the cause of political correctness and where the ordinary citizen may be interrogated by state officials for expressing opinions in conflict with stated government policy.
Never has the folly of expending such extraordinary amounts of taxpayers money on our continued subservience to the European Union been so clearly exposed.
The country is effectively grid-locked with people unable to get to or from their places of employment.
Our budgets are so restricted that we lack the resources to adequately clear and grit our roads to keep the country moving.
Unless we extricate ourselves from the quangocracy of waste that is the EU and the political correctness which infests it, the situation will continue.
T.C. Dowdall, chairman, UKIP Rotherham branch,Plane Drive, Wickersley.
Sir—Despite the appalling disruption caused by last week's snowfalls with some areas seeing temperatures drop to record levels, UK road hauliers will be doing everything they can to make sure that everyone has as happy a Christmas as is possible.
The recent bad spell may be just a small taste of what is to come and is probably a good indicator of what we will have to endure until at least the end of February, if the beginning of this year is anything to go by.
Whatever the weather throws at us, road haulage operators will be doing their absolute best to make sure that it’s business as usual.
But if the snow returns with the same ferocity as last week it is inevitable we will see delayed deliveries over the Christmas period.
To assist the completion of as many deliveries as possible, the Road Haulage Association has worked hard to negotiate a relaxation of the EU Drivers' Hours regulations which lasts until midnight on December 7.
This means that a driver’s daily driving limit will be increased from nine to ten hours and the daily rest requirements will be reduced from 11 to nine hours, as allowed under the regulation.
The Department for Transport will be reviewing this relaxation as weather conditions change.
Of course this will go some way to reducing the backlog caused by last week’s weather and will certainly help supermarkets restock their shelves but what will help even more is an improved system of communication.
With mobile technology now the norm there can be no excuse for a driver to reach their destination only to find themselves unable to offload their vehicle because their customer’s employees have been unable to get to their place of work because of lack of grit.
If you’ve battled through horrendous road conditions to deliver the goods, the last thing you want to be met with is locked doors.
Good communication is vital.
The wheels of the haulage industry must be kept moving if delivery schedules are to stand any chance of being met and to that end local authorities must get their respective acts together at this critical time.
Keeping the main roads clear is not enough; the side roads must be maintained to an equal standard.
This is the season of goodwill, so let's try and make sure that some of it is directed at the driver trying to deliver the goods.
Kate Gibbs, Head of Media Relations, Road Haulage Association Ltd.
Sir—During the recent spell of terrible weather and the havoc it caused, the media were full of stories of selflessness and of communities being good neighbours.
In this respect I should like to commend to your readers the work of NHS staff in Rotherham, who throughout, frequently at personal expense and risk to their own safety, continued to provide vulnerable people in the community and those in need with a service that we have all come to consider as a right.
There were stories of NHS staff walking miles in dreadful conditions to arrive early at work to clear snow so that patients could have access to health centres and services.
We also heard of NHS staff and their families using their own vehicles to take nurses to stranded elderly patients so that their treatment would be uninterrupted.
And there were also many cases of staff coming to work on their days off to cover for colleagues who were unable to get to work.
In these days when a cynical view is often taken about public services I for one have been hugely impressed by what I have seen done by dedicated people working in the NHS in Rotherham.
Alan Tolhurst, Chairman, NHS Rotherham.
Sir—I would just like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to the wonderful man who worked at Corus for stopping to help me when I broke down at the end of Oaks Lane, Kimberworth Park, on Monday morning.
I was there over 20 minutes with no power to my car with people making gestures (even though I was stood with my hazard warning lights on) without a single person asking me if I was okay or needed any help.
The temperature was approaching minus ten when this lovely man stopped his car and helped shove me away from the traffic and then he actually stopped over two hours later on his return journey to see if I was okay, as I was waiting for the recovery vehicle and he said that he had thought about me and he was glad that I was now okay.
My faith in human kindness has been restored by this wonderful unnamed man.
I just wanted to pass my thanks on to you. The gesture of kindness was much appreciated.
Kerry Uttley (Mrs), Cannon Close, Rawmarsh, Rotherham.