A few pictures of snow in Ramsgate this morning click on the link for them http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop5/ no signs of gritting again today and I have only seen one bus get through today.
Mal has just emailed me some more snow picture click on the link for them http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop5/id3.htm anyone else got any?
No worries for me as the bookshop is closed today so my customers not being able to get here doesn’t make any difference.
I don’t think the lack of or inadequate gritting, not really sure what it is, seems to be understood by KCC the cost to Thanet’s economy must be colossal, I will do my best to explain this in terms my own business, with thoughts about what is going wrong.
My bookshop is at the bottom of The Plains of Waterloo, funny name for a road, I know but there have been funnier ones. Anyway this is a steep hill on the main bus route and I can’t really miss what goes on there in terms of traffic and road maintenance because nearly all of my windows look out on it.
I have been here since 1987 working in the bookshop and living above and up until this winter every time it has snowed the council have made special efforts to grit it, both the road and the treacherous sloping pavements, one has to be careful negotiating these when they are wet and ice makes them pretty much impossible to stand up on.
Now KCC assure us that gritting is still going on as normal, but there is no sign of any grit, previous years you could see it very clearly, brown and rather nasty.
When it snowed on the Saturday before Christmas it should have been the busiest shopping day of the year, as it was the bookshop takings were 10% of what I expected, it’s all a bit difficult to work out what this means in terms of lost profit as takings would probably have been down a certain amount because of the snow, even if the roads and pavements leading to the shop had been gritted as normal. There is also the factor that some people would have come another day to buy their books. At a guess I would say the amount of profit lost was between £200 and £300 which to me is just the same as if someone had taken this amount out of your wages, before tax deductions.
Anyway back sort of on subject you may remember back in may I had a problem with a drain at the bottom of Plains of Waterloo see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2009/05/crazy-waterworks-in-thanet.html well I notified KCC highways of the problem with the drain and they came and dug up the road. I had assumed that they had mended it but in fact it still doesn’t work in exactly the same way.
There is also the appalling state of the pavements and road surfaces in this part of Ramsgate, a couple of times recently KCC workers have turned up fixed one paving slab in amongst lots of others that are either broken displaced or wobbly, completely ignoring the others.
They did this to one outside the bookshop the other day, lifted it up and put a bit more sand under it, not enough though as it started to sink again in a couple of days.
What I am getting at there is has something changed, or is it just my perception of things, as they seem to be going through the motions of fixing things but not succeeding very well, I am wondering if the gritting lorry came along but the grit didn’t actually come out of it for instance.
A bit of an update here, they have just 1.30pm come along and gritted the pavement between my bookshop and the town centre, it looks amazingly bizarre as the grit extends to the bottom of the really treacherous hill but not up it click on the link for a picture of this http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop5/id4.htm I know the answer to this will be that it isn’t part of the town centre.
As you can see the road itself is pretty slippery, with vehicles and pedestrians making their way down it together at walking pace.
Three busses came through pretty much all at the same time about half an hour ago whch suggests the roads must be clearing a bit.
and this from th KM website
StMARY'S ISLAND PRIMARY (CHATHAM) - Open
StMARY'S ISLAND PRIMARY (CHATHAM) - Closed
I will ramble on here as the day goes on and hopefully add a few more pictures.