Gritting routes are ‘sexist’ and lead to ‘broken limbs’, councillor claims

Road gritting is "sexist" and must change, according to a highways chief that claimed de-icing operations are primarily focused on getting men to work in cars.

While gritting lorries clear major roads, cycle and footpaths – more commonly used by women – are left frozen.

That can "leave active travel users counting the costs with broken limbs", said Alex Beckett, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council's highways and transport committee.

READ MORE: Elle Brooke reveals 'most embarrassing sexual experience' took place at Alton Towers

The council is taking £300,000 from the highways budget for a risk-based review of the network covered by winter gritting to ensure it is optimised and giving value for money.

Mr Beckett, a Liberal Democrat, said: "We do need to review the network. It's currently years out of date and primarily focused on getting men to work in cars.

"It's a network focused on businessmen and councillors, not representative of normal people and their lives.

"There is a large body of evidence that gritting routes defined like this can be sexist and can leave active travel users counting the costs with broken limbs."

His comments were based on study by a Swedish gender equality initiative that found the "routine of clearing snow typically benefited men over women".

  • Kyiv's mayor issues stark nuclear warning for ‘everyone on our planet’

The study said: "In the winter snow was cleared first on main roads leading into the city, benefiting commuters – who were mostly men.

"Foot and cycle paths were cleared last – not so good for pedestrians and cyclists, who were very often women travelling with children in pushchairs."

The study found 79% of pedestrian injuries occurred in winter – and 69% of the victims were women.

Clearing paths first halved accidents and saved local government money, according to the report.

But Tory councillor Steve Count branded Mr Beckett's comments bizarre, saying the highways chief "seems to think only men drive to work and then amusingly accuses others of sexism.

"I can assure him there’s no shortage of female drivers going to work, certainly not where I live. It's an odd view."

Cambridgeshire’s 37 gritters currently clear 34% of the county's roads, while all major roads are gritted by Highway England.

The council has two quad bikes which treat over 50km of cycleways and a team of 70 volunteers who salt pavements.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.


  • Bigfoot hunter hits out at non-believers as 'reckless' bear claims ignore 'phenomenon'
  • Police confirm body found in River Wyre is missing mum Nicola Bulley
  • Parents miraculously pulled from Turkey earthquake rubble alive after 12 days
  • Residents of Elon Musk's 'space city' claim SpaceX CEO has destroyed quiet beach town
  • US town living through 'our Chernobyl' after huge train wreck leads to toxic plume

Source: Read Full Article