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Marrick placed on high priority gritting service
A REMOTE village has learned it will now be placed on a high priority gritting route after years of residents struggling to reach school and work in winter when roads are impassable because of ice and snow.
Grinton, near Reeth, has now been put on North Yorkshire County Council’s gritting schedule as priority two after a persistent campaign by county councillor and leader of Richmondshire District Council, John Blackie.
Coun Blackie said: “This news will be greeted with delight by the parents of the school pupils in Marrick, who in harsh winters have seen their children having to stay at home on icy or snowy days because the school bus could not reach them - while most others in nearby communities have made it to their schools.
“In both of the two bad winters recently, there was each a period of two weeks when the school bus could not get into Marrick and safely get out again - leaving as many as 12 school children stranded.
“Some of those students were at an important stage in their education, doing mock GCSE and A level exams.”
But Coun Blackie wants to go one step further and push to get more remote communities on higher priorities.
He said: “In Arkengarthdale my attempt to get the route upgraded from priority two to priority one failed again, and I am disappointed as what might be considered one of the most remote schools in all England - Arkengarthdale Primary School with 36 pupils - lies on the Dale road.
“It is only reached by going across some of the wildest moorland imaginable from Reeth, about four miles away.
“Again the schoolchildren from Arkengarthdale going to Richmond School have often been stranded at home for days on end, often missing vital education at exam time, because the school bus has not been safely able to get in and out of the Dale.
“Earlier this year, the school bus overturned, fortunately without any passengers travelling and the driver was unhurt, on an icy morning.”
Coun Blackie vowed to keep fighting for a better gritting service for Arkengarthdale.
He said: “We will continue in Arkengarthdale to rely on the excellent tractor box gritting service that Robert Stones is authorised to undertake to augment the NYCC priority two service.
“There is an invaluable back up minibus service - although obviously without priority one gritting, occasionally this service cannot operate either.”