MSP claims elderly and disabled in Edinburgh are trapped at home because roads and pavements have not been gritted

Elderly and disabled people are trapped in their homes because the city council is failing to grit their roads and pavements, an MSP claimed today.
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As forecasters warned that this month could be the coldest January on record, Lothian Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour said none of the streets in his area around Comiston Drive, Morningside, had been treated since snow hit Edinburgh a week ago.

He said: “Where we stay, we have had no gritters at all and because of my disability I haven't been out now for seven days. It's so icy I can't take the risk. My wife has been speaking to neighbours and old people are just not coming out at all.

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“They're not even gritting the roads, let alone the pavements.”

Mr Balfour said he had posted on Twitter about the situation but the council had not responded.

His complaint comes after the Evening News highlighted last week how a woman had suffered a suspected broken wrist after falling on nearby Braid Road, which had not been gritted despite being closed to traffic to make it easier for people to walk and cycle during the pandemic. The paper also reported how cycle lanes on Comiston Road had not been cleared of snow for several days, forcing cyclists to move into the main carriageway.

Mr Balfour saId: “I think there is a real issue with people's mental and physical health, particularly with all the Covid restrictions, if they are not able to walk around their neighbourhoods at all. With more snow due this week, there's the whole issue of social isolation. For older people and disabled people, we're just making them stay at home.

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“It's seven days since the first snow came - our street has not been touched at all. I'm looking out the window now and the road is still full of ice. There have been no gritters at all.”

Jeremy Balfour says roads in his area of Morningside have not been gritted in seven daysJeremy Balfour says roads in his area of Morningside have not been gritted in seven days
Jeremy Balfour says roads in his area of Morningside have not been gritted in seven days

The council has said its gritting teams work 24/7 to respond to poor conditions on the city’s roads, cycle paths and pavements. A priority gritting system means principal roads, bus routes and roads and pavements leading to hospitals, fire stations care homes are treated first. A spokeswoman said icy and snowy conditions were putting extra pressure on services.

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