Thursday 29 December 2016

Did Barnet council do risk assessment for ice when laying new paving surfaces

The dangers of icy pavemenst
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I certainly did. I awoke at 7am with a spring in my step and a hunger in my belly. So I got dressed, put on my trainers and went down to Cooksleys to buy some bangers and bacon. As soon as I got out of the door, I realised my mistake. Millway was like an ice rink. The council laid new paving surfaces last year and with the hevy frost, it was extremely dangerous. I immediately turned around and swapped my trainers for heavy walking boots. Even with these, it was precarious. I settled for walking down the middle of the road.

In years gone by, the council would grit pavements in icy conditions. This clearly no longer happens. I feel extremely sorry for OAP's and people with small children. I saw a neighbour slip on the ice and then her young daughter slip and bang her head as I walked back. They turned back, little girl crying her eyes out having banged her head.

The council has spent millions on renewing the boroughs pavements. I wonder what consideration and risk assessment was given to the risk of ice. Our road has two sorts of finish. There are small concrete paving slabs that are very slippery and a smooth black asphalt that is even more slippery. The only slight advantage of the asphalt is that as it is black it catches the heat of the sun and defrosts slightly quicker.

If the council hasn't considered the safety issues of the surfaces in icy weather, then presumably anyone slipping may be liable fo compensation and we (the taxpayer) will not only be at risk, but we'll be lumbered picking up the tab. Of course we should all take care in icy conditions, but if dangerous surfaces are installed, then the council should arrange gritting. I for one found the sight of a child falling over and banging their head quite upsetting. She now has a nice big bump for Christmas, courtesy of Barnet Council.

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