'Gritters are not like Mary Poppins': Bucks transport chief responds to angry resident

Bucks County Council's transport chief said gritters were 'not like Mary Poppins' in response to criticism about their efforts during the snowy weather.

By Jasmine Rapson
Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 8:53 pm
Library image of a gritter
Library image of a gritter

Gritting teams did receive plenty of praise for the “sterling work” they carried out to make Buckinghamshire’s icy roads safe after heavy snowfall hit the county in the latter part of last week.

However, Bucks County Council still heard about criticism from frustrated drivers who questioned where the gritters were when they experienced delays on the county’s roads on January 22.

During a cabinet meeting, transport chief Mark Shaw referenced a popular family film when he reminded critics that gritters “are not like Mary Poppins, they don’t fly through the air”.

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Library image of a gritter

He added the council was “really proud” of the gritting teams – who were on call up to 24 hours a day to help improve the treacherous conditions on the county’s roads.

He said: “I would like to really publicly thank all the teams of gritters at Transport for Bucks for keeping Bucks open with the heavy snow conditions we have seen in the recent weeks.

“I had a conversation with one resident who was rather upset, then in the end he did realise our gritters aren’t like Mary Poppins, they don’t fly through the air.

“They need to be out on the network to get the grit down so the traction can get started.

“On January 22 people were leaving work early, you had school traffic on the roads and of course that created mass tailbacks and we understand that.

“That’s why we tell people in the run up to snow events, to stagger when they are going into work and tell people when we need to go to work.

"Really we just need to use some good old fashioned British common sense.”