Snow leaves OAPs trapped in their homes on steep street in Stoke
STRANDED residents are furious after snow and ice left on a steep street stopped them from leaving their homes.
Bilton Street, in Stoke, where more than 80 per cent of the people are pensioners, became a 'prison' during the last week, with many trapped indoors.
After they complained about the treacherous conditions, Stoke-on-Trent City Council sent staff out to grit the roads and to demonstrate how residents could use the salt bins to treat the street themselves.
From one of the bungalows, Phyllis Hansbury, aged 83, said: "It has been really bad. I have had to pay someone to clear my path. I am nearly blind and have bad legs, so I have been stranded and haven't been out of the house at all.
This Sunday between 11am & 4pm with FREE admission at the Moat House Hotel Festival Park we will be exhibiting with some special show offers, the weather forecast isn't good but our deals are
Terms: Visit us or pick up a voucher at the show to be eligible
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
"Fortunately, my son brought me some food. But it is impossible for me to get anywhere. There is a 90 year-old on the street. It is terrible and this is an example of how the council looks after pensioners."
The council has received about 2,000 calls requesting help from members of the public since the snow began on January 17.
Frail residents have been stuck in their bungalows for more than eight days and only those with loved-ones living nearby received help and shopping.
Margaret Ganner, aged 79, said: "My family can't get up the steep road to bring me food and I haven't been able to go out at all. No one can drive here so I am stranded."
The residents feel that they should have been a top priority for gritting.
Chris Dixon, aged 64, said: "Considering that we are all old age pensioners, I think it is disgusting that the council had to be forced to grit the road. Everyone is elderly, it is so dangerous."
Malcolm Hayes, aged 70, added: "You can't drive cars on the road, so mine has not been out since the snow began.
"My wife, who is ill, has not been able to leave the house. They used to grit this street, but then they put a bin at the top, so they expect 80 and 90 year-olds to grit the streets themselves."
The 2,000 requests had all been dealt with by the council by Friday lunch time.
City councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: "The gritting team has been out in force every day since the big freeze started.
"Despite our best efforts, there is only so much that we can physically and financially do. Just like every other council in the country we have a finite amount of funding and have to focus on the priority roads into and out of the city. It is vital that people do not behave as if it is business as usual – we are facing some treacherous weather and need to act accordingly."
She added: "The community's response in Bilton Street is great, with neighbours and the local pub helping elderly residents. Communities working together can play a really big part in helping to pull through this bitterly cold snap."
Anyone who would like to request the council to grit their street should contact 01782 237061.