Staffordshire's grit teams work around clock to beat big freeze (pictures)
MORE than 1,000 tonnes of salt was scattered on Staffordshire's main routes to keep traffic moving.
But pavements and some side roads remained untreated yesterday as cars slid into each other and pedestrians took painful tumbles on treacherous surfaces.
Now Staffordshire County Council has enough grit left from its annual allocation of 30,000 tonnes to cope with at least a further 20 days of similar conditions.
And as Stoke-on-Trent gritters took to the road again last night, officials reported having 2,300 tonnes left.
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Conditions meant one gritting lorry became stuck in Burnaby Road, Goldenhill, and help was needed to free it.
And the driver of another truck told his bosses that in 16 years of doing the job he had never seen conditions like it.
Firefighters had to cut free an injured woman from her car which had skidded on black ice and hit a wall in Sutherland Road, Longsdon, at 8.15am yesterday.
Two crews from Leek attended and she was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
Bob Brock, head of gritting at the city council, defended leaving some pavements untreated despite hundreds turning up at A&E after suffering falls.
He said: "We have been treating A, B and C roads and main bus routes and we've also been answering requests from the public where possible. There's 1,118 miles of pavements in the city and I would need an army of men if we were going to treat every single one of them.
"It's just not possible.
"The problems started when the temperature dropped below zero and the roads began to freeze.
"I had crews out from 11pm on Thursday to 7am yesterday. One man who has been doing the job for 16 years said he had never seen conditions as bad."
In the county council area, two teams of 60 drivers have stayed on call around the clock since early on Thursday.
Mike Maryon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Once again the gritting crews have done Staffordshire proud. They did a first class job in very challenging conditions."
In Cheshire East, Rod Menlove, cabinet member for environmental services, said: "A-roads and well-used routes were given priority to be salted regularly, including roads to hospitals and schools."
The conditions have led to renewed calls for councils to restock grit bins.
Housewife Karen Jervis, a 48-year-old mother-of-two, of Bramfield Drive, Newcastle, watched as a man dived out of his van as it slid down the sloping street towards a junction.
She said: ""It's a very steep cul-de-sac and a van had lost control and was coming down sideways and the driver jumped out of the door.
"We've made several telephone calls to the council to have the grit bins filled up, but they haven't done anything about it."
Craig Wright, who runs Knutton-based Wright Roofing, decided to give the council a helping hand.
Craig, aged 41, who lives in Knutton said: "We got 10 bags of rock salt donated to us from FWB in Longton and we went out at 8am and started helping where it was needed. We were doing car parks and doctor's surgeries and so on.
"The roads were treacherous and we saw quite a few people falling over."
Trentham Monkey Forest, which should have opened today, put the season's start back to tomorrow, as a result of the weather.
The Dorothy Clive Garden, in Willoughbridge, was also staying closed this weekend. And a celebration to mark the anniversary of a youth club in Werrington was also cancelled yesterday.