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Calls for council to grit Great Orme roads more often

GREAT Orme roads should be gritted more often, say a group of councillors who brought a call to action to a scrutiny committee.

At an economy and place scrutiny committee meeting at Bodlondeb, Llandudno councillors Harry Saville, Louise Emery, and Mandy Hawkins signed a petition calling for the Great Orme to be made a priority road for council gritters.

According to the three councillors, there are no regular gritters serving the Great Orme community, and the steep Ty Gwyn Road becomes hazardous in icy conditions.

The paper was also backed by Llandudno town councillor and mayor Greg Robbins.

Appealing to the committee at Bodlondeb, Cllr Emery said the community living on the Great Orme was often isolated in cold weather.

“Obviously the issue is we are a second priority. We are not a first priority road for the community on the Orme,” she said.

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“I feel that the Great Orme is essentially a little village on the top of Llandudno, and it is a distinct community, and it doesn’t take a lot of ice for there to be accidents on that road.”

She added, “It is an incredibly steep road.”

Cllr Goronwy Edwards is the cabinet member for the environment, roads, and facilities.

“The issue on the Orme is that, because of its location close to the coast, it’s a relatively milder climate than many in the rural areas,” he said.

“It is very infrequent that you would need to grit the Great Orme at all. To do that on a regular basis would be a waste of resources and not practical.”

Cllr Edwards added it would be a financial burden and a commitment the council couldn’t afford as other communities, particularly those in rural areas, could also argue they should be priority gritting areas.

Cllr Nia Owen is the local member for Llanrwst and Llanddoged and argued there were rural areas in greater need of gritting that were not priority gritting routes.

“As a councillor in a rural area, I can sympathise with the situation of the members who represent the Gogarth area,” she said.

“Schools in Llanddoged really have had to deal with this situation for years. They’ve had to learn to live with it, and how to use their gritting bins.”

She then added there were large populations living in rural area such as Trefriw with huge hills.

Cllr Owen added, “But if a decision is made that Ffordd Ty Gwyn in Gogarth is gritted in the future, I would expect these rural areas to be gritted as well, I’m afraid.”

Conwy’s highways officer Simon Billington then said national guidance was used to determine what roads should be gritted as priority roads and when.

Councillors in the chamber also heard that rural roads in Conwy could be as much as four degrees colder during winter months than those on the coast.

Cllr Harry Saville questioned whether Llandudno Town Council could consider contributing funding towards gritting the Orme.

“Perhaps there is a discussion to be had with other stakeholders,” he said.

“I don’t know if Llandudno Town Council is in a position to provide financial support for this. I’m unaware if that’s been considered. But perhaps that’s a discussion to be had.”

Cllr Tom Montgomery proposed the scrutiny committee wrote to the cabinet about the call for action, suggesting Ty Gwyn Road could be looked at for increased gritting together with a debate over which other roads should be considered as priority.

This was seconded by Cllr Louise Emery, and the committee voted in favour of the decision with seven votes for to five against.