Snow update: Portland pensioners trapped in homes

Brian Allebone, left, Laura Amor and Marlene Allebone are unhappy with the gritting in Weare Close, Portland

Brian Allebone, left, Laura Amor and Marlene Allebone are unhappy with the gritting in Weare Close, Portland

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

PENSIONERS have been trapped in their homes for two days as icy roads and pavements have made it impossible for them to get out.

Steep residential roads on Portland have been left ungritted and the sub-zero temperatures have made areas too dangerous to walk or drive on.

Rescue operations have been going on around Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester to salvage cars as roads turn into skating rinks.

Despite the conditions there have been no reports of serious injuries.

Elderly residents living on a hill in Weare Close on Portland haven’t been able to get out of their homes or to the shops for two days.

They say that they have been asking Dorset County Council to fill the grit box since the summer but nothing has been done and now they are trapped in their homes with food supplies running short.

Brian Allebone, 77, said: “It’s so slippery, you can’t get out. We have asked them to fill up the grit box but they haven’t. They keep passing us on to someone else.”

His wife Marlene, 68, said they were running out of bread and milk as they did their shopping at the end of the week.

She said: “We can’t even catch a bus to go and get supplies because we can’t get down to them.

“We have a couple of slices of bread, some milk and vegetables left. We go once a week to the supermarket and we’re coming to the end of our provisions.”

Fellow Weare Close resident Laura Amor, 63, said: “If the council filled the boxes with grit then we would put it down ourselves and we wouldn’t have to keep bothering them.

“The problem here is that we don’t have the sun for about two months of the year as it doesn’t get high enough to get over the hill, so the ice doesn’t melt.

“I’m scared to go out because I broke my wrist before and I’m worried I could slip over onto it again.”

She added: “We are aware that we are not the only ones that have been overlooked by the gritters. We know there are other people out there in similar situations. “It’s just because we are on a hill it’s much more intimidating.”

Stuart Fretwell, 57, who lives on nearby Killicks Hill, said he couldn’t believe that the roads hadn’t been gritted as it was close to Underhill Primary School.

He said: “I’m angry and disbelieving. The council should have given more thought to elderly residents and children trying to get to school.

“I looked out of my back window and they have gritted Verne Common Road and up to the prison and it made me mad.

“They should be looking after everyone, both prisoners and residents.”

He added: “I feel that the residents on this part of Portland have been left to fend for themselves.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council always used to grit it but then Dorset County Council took us off the gritting route.”

For people who tried to get out and about on the ice the roads and pavements of Dorset were fraught with danger.

Paramedics received 22 calls from people who had fallen over on the ice in Dorset between 7.30 and 9.30am yesterday.

Ambulance crews were able to attend call-outs as usual, a South Western Ambulance spokesman said.

On the roads there were several accidents due to ice but there were no reports of any injuries. A woman escaped unhurt after her car overturned in a field at Lower Norris Mill Farm, Lower Bockhampton, and a collision was reported in Southfield Avenue, Weymouth.

Other danger zones included Hereford Road and Norfolk Road in Westham, which police were forced to close because it became too dangerous, and Louviers Road in Littlemoor, which became like a skate rink.

A postal van became stuck and neighbours helped elderly residents across the roads.

A team of teenagers took action and gritted the road outside their homes, on the junction of Queensland Road, and Sussex Road, Westham.

Frustrated mum and resident Susan Newman said: “About three cars slid all the way down the road and into the fence at the bottom.

“We called the police and the council but no one turned up so a bunch of kids stepped in to help everyone out.

“They found some grit and filling wheelbarrows and wheelie bins with the grit they set about gritting the road and pavements.”

Chris Steadman, 63, of Weyview Crescent, Broadwey, said Dorset County Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council had been passing the responsibility for the road gritting between them.

He said: “Elderly people and residents have been made prisoners in their own homes. No one can get out.

“We called Dorset County Council and they said we should call Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and they told us there was only one salt bin for the borough and it was on Portland and I understand that no one can get to it as it’s in Weare Close.” He added: “It’s not unreasonable to expect to have full salt bins then people would happily treat the roads themselves.”

Comments (23)

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11:05am Sat 4 Dec 10

ohec says...

The end of the world is nigh stuck indoors for two whole days, perhaps these elderly folk should give a thought to the rest of the country trying to go about their business, all these folk have to do is stay indoors and keep warm. And might I be so bold as to suggest they stock up their food cupboard as this is only the start of winter. And please stop moaning at every opportumity.
The end of the world is nigh stuck indoors for two whole days, perhaps these elderly folk should give a thought to the rest of the country trying to go about their business, all these folk have to do is stay indoors and keep warm. And might I be so bold as to suggest they stock up their food cupboard as this is only the start of winter. And please stop moaning at every opportumity. ohec
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Sat 4 Dec 10

JamesYoung says...

I can't help but think the Echo should turn itself into a weekly.

Every time it snows it trots out the same stories.
I can't help but think the Echo should turn itself into a weekly. Every time it snows it trots out the same stories. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Sat 4 Dec 10

siratb says...

I was going to suggest...Tesco Online, Asda Online, Sainsburys Online or if you like cheap nasty food, Iceland Online (which seems most apt at the moment).
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It is only a bit of snow Echo, get over it.
I was going to suggest...Tesco Online, Asda Online, Sainsburys Online or if you like cheap nasty food, Iceland Online (which seems most apt at the moment). . It is only a bit of snow Echo, get over it. siratb
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Sat 4 Dec 10

vikivk says...

OMG! We have 2 days of snow/ice and everything comes to a stand still with everyone moaning! The poor people up north who've had it for over a week and are still carrying on as normal (going to work, kids going to school etc) and they've had approx 2ft of it! Yes it makes driving conditions dodgy and walking about in it isn't great but get over it! Be grateful it was only for 2 days and lets hope the council now grit a few more roads in future.
OMG! We have 2 days of snow/ice and everything comes to a stand still with everyone moaning! The poor people up north who've had it for over a week and are still carrying on as normal (going to work, kids going to school etc) and they've had approx 2ft of it! Yes it makes driving conditions dodgy and walking about in it isn't great but get over it! Be grateful it was only for 2 days and lets hope the council now grit a few more roads in future. vikivk
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sat 4 Dec 10

Captain Sensible says...

Are these the same old people who got confused when leaflets advising of a civil defence excercise were put through their doors last Summer and they thought a nuclear war had started? 'Eee this was all trees when I was a girl' etc etc
Are these the same old people who got confused when leaflets advising of a civil defence excercise were put through their doors last Summer and they thought a nuclear war had started? 'Eee this was all trees when I was a girl' etc etc Captain Sensible
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Sat 4 Dec 10

Laadeeda says...

Some real compassion I feel for the elderly.

Hope the same is shown to you in your dotage.
Some real compassion I feel for the elderly. Hope the same is shown to you in your dotage. Laadeeda
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Sat 4 Dec 10

F1 says...

The pensioners who have been trapped in their homes for two days as icy roads and pavements have made it impossible for them to get out are call the ECHO photographer out to take a photo!



Love it!
The pensioners who have been trapped in their homes for two days as icy roads and pavements have made it impossible for them to get out are call the ECHO photographer out to take a photo! Love it! F1
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Sat 4 Dec 10

caz maz says...

Did the photographa take the insane couple the bread and milk they wanted to risk life and limb to get (didnt know you could not survive without bread and milk).
Good job they didn't go out and fall though isnt it or we would have to see them in the Echo again next week complaining about the NHS and Dorset County Hospital.
Well done the teenagers that showed some intelagence! not too sure how you just find grit though!
Did the photographa take the insane couple the bread and milk they wanted to risk life and limb to get (didnt know you could not survive without bread and milk). Good job they didn't go out and fall though isnt it or we would have to see them in the Echo again next week complaining about the NHS and Dorset County Hospital. Well done the teenagers that showed some intelagence! not too sure how you just find grit though! caz maz
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Sat 4 Dec 10

caz maz says...

Oh yes nearly forgot, try longlife milk lasts for ages and a bag of flour in the cupboard never goes a miss!
Oh yes nearly forgot, try longlife milk lasts for ages and a bag of flour in the cupboard never goes a miss! caz maz
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Sat 4 Dec 10

Wykeite says...

Snow update: It has melted!!
Snow update: It has melted!! Wykeite
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Sat 4 Dec 10

bootzilla says...

Yet another echo story heavy on the hyperbole. If the photographer managed to get there to take a photo was he stranded as well?
James Young loving your idea of turning this repetitive rag into a weekly. Once a year would do quite frankly though.
Yet another echo story heavy on the hyperbole. If the photographer managed to get there to take a photo was he stranded as well? James Young loving your idea of turning this repetitive rag into a weekly. Once a year would do quite frankly though. bootzilla
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Sat 4 Dec 10

Doughbun1958 says...

siratb wrote:
I was going to suggest...Tesco Online, Asda Online, Sainsburys Online or if you like cheap nasty food, Iceland Online (which seems most apt at the moment).
.
It is only a bit of snow Echo, get over it.
ASDA On-Line Absolutely Brilliant the Mrs and I can't praise them enuff. We were due to have our shopping delivered on Wednesday Afternoon, now ASDA on-line in Weymuff n Portland is delevered from their Poole Store.At 9.00 am on Wednesday I took a call from them apologising for the fact that they couldn't deliver due to thecurrent weather conditions. We have Milk & Bread in the deep freeze to cater for theses little hic-cups in our weather system. Yesterday at 9.00 am yet another call from ASDA asking when it would be convienient to deliver our shopping.The said shopping arrived at 5.00 last night with everything we ordered on Tuesday evening. WELL DONE ASDA ! ! ! ! In these days when it is easy to criticise credit where credit is due
[quote][p][bold]siratb[/bold] wrote: I was going to suggest...Tesco Online, Asda Online, Sainsburys Online or if you like cheap nasty food, Iceland Online (which seems most apt at the moment). . It is only a bit of snow Echo, get over it.[/p][/quote]ASDA On-Line Absolutely Brilliant the Mrs and I can't praise them enuff. We were due to have our shopping delivered on Wednesday Afternoon, now ASDA on-line in Weymuff n Portland is delevered from their Poole Store.At 9.00 am on Wednesday I took a call from them apologising for the fact that they couldn't deliver due to thecurrent weather conditions. We have Milk & Bread in the deep freeze to cater for theses little hic-cups in our weather system. Yesterday at 9.00 am yet another call from ASDA asking when it would be convienient to deliver our shopping.The said shopping arrived at 5.00 last night with everything we ordered on Tuesday evening. WELL DONE ASDA ! ! ! ! In these days when it is easy to criticise credit where credit is due Doughbun1958
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Sat 4 Dec 10

weymouthfox says...

What a mean minded group of people are complaining on here about the elderly. My aunt used to live in Mallams and thats a steep road which becomes lethal with any ice on the pavement and a long way to fall. Our councils, who collect a huge amount in rates every year, should get their act together to grit these roads in Underhill. They probably lack local knowledge and an overpaid bureaucrat sat in a warm county council office probably has no idea that roads like Mallams exist.
What a mean minded group of people are complaining on here about the elderly. My aunt used to live in Mallams and thats a steep road which becomes lethal with any ice on the pavement and a long way to fall. Our councils, who collect a huge amount in rates every year, should get their act together to grit these roads in Underhill. They probably lack local knowledge and an overpaid bureaucrat sat in a warm county council office probably has no idea that roads like Mallams exist. weymouthfox
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Sat 4 Dec 10

Why Suspend My Account? says...

Gritter lorries are big.
.
Residential streets are narrow (often with cars parked on both sides of the road).
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With all the goodwill in the world, gritter lorries simply cannot fit into narrow residential roads that easily.
.
Even if they could, would you want grit sprayed down the side of your car?
.
"Gritter lorry in scratched car horror" etc etc
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Yes, it is cold, it is unpleasant- but it does not last forever and it is rare that it is this bad.
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We could spend millions on machines and equipment to help- and then people would complain what a waste of money for something that is used so rarely.
Gritter lorries are big. . Residential streets are narrow (often with cars parked on both sides of the road). . With all the goodwill in the world, gritter lorries simply cannot fit into narrow residential roads that easily. . Even if they could, would you want grit sprayed down the side of your car? . "Gritter lorry in scratched car horror" etc etc . Yes, it is cold, it is unpleasant- but it does not last forever and it is rare that it is this bad. . We could spend millions on machines and equipment to help- and then people would complain what a waste of money for something that is used so rarely. Why Suspend My Account?
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Sat 4 Dec 10

homeboy01 says...

If the ECHO reporter got over thee he should have called into ada on the way and picked up a couple of loaves and a few pints of milk to help them out.
If the ECHO reporter got over thee he should have called into ada on the way and picked up a couple of loaves and a few pints of milk to help them out. homeboy01
  • Score: 0

11:01pm Sat 4 Dec 10

Genghis says...

Priceless. The irony of it. A bunch of whining windbags that spend virtually every minute of their lives on the OHEC website moaning about speed cameras, the Olympics, roadworks, lack of roadworks, non-stories and one million other trivial things are now branding a few elderly residents as moaners. The OHEC itself couldn't make it up.
Priceless. The irony of it. A bunch of whining windbags that spend virtually every minute of their lives on the OHEC website moaning about speed cameras, the Olympics, roadworks, lack of roadworks, non-stories and one million other trivial things are now branding a few elderly residents as moaners. The OHEC itself couldn't make it up. Genghis
  • Score: 0

1:01am Sun 5 Dec 10

Techie says...

weymouthfox wrote:
What a mean minded group of people are complaining on here about the elderly. My aunt used to live in Mallams and thats a steep road which becomes lethal with any ice on the pavement and a long way to fall. Our councils, who collect a huge amount in rates every year, should get their act together to grit these roads in Underhill. They probably lack local knowledge and an overpaid bureaucrat sat in a warm county council office probably has no idea that roads like Mallams exist.
Where do you suppose our local government officers come from then? Berkshire? Do they all commute in by jetpack every day? The only way a gritting lorry could possibly fit down Mallams would be if you moved all the parked cars first.
.
The Council cannot possibly grit every residential street. There is not enough equipment or manpower to do this, and it would be to the detriment of our salt stocks, our main roads and our bus routes. Here on the sunny south coast we luckily see very little of this sort of weather, which precludes spending vast sums to deal with it when it could be better spent elsewhere.
[quote][p][bold]weymouthfox[/bold] wrote: What a mean minded group of people are complaining on here about the elderly. My aunt used to live in Mallams and thats a steep road which becomes lethal with any ice on the pavement and a long way to fall. Our councils, who collect a huge amount in rates every year, should get their act together to grit these roads in Underhill. They probably lack local knowledge and an overpaid bureaucrat sat in a warm county council office probably has no idea that roads like Mallams exist.[/p][/quote]Where do you suppose our local government officers come from then? Berkshire? Do they all commute in by jetpack every day? The only way a gritting lorry could possibly fit down Mallams would be if you moved all the parked cars first. . The Council cannot possibly grit every residential street. There is not enough equipment or manpower to do this, and it would be to the detriment of our salt stocks, our main roads and our bus routes. Here on the sunny south coast we luckily see very little of this sort of weather, which precludes spending vast sums to deal with it when it could be better spent elsewhere. Techie
  • Score: 0

5:50am Sun 5 Dec 10

hobbitdamian says...

in these modern days of over indulgence, I find it hard to believe that they only have a couple of slices of bread and a few vegetables.....
in these modern days of over indulgence, I find it hard to believe that they only have a couple of slices of bread and a few vegetables..... hobbitdamian
  • Score: 0

5:50am Sun 5 Dec 10

hobbitdamian says...

in these modern days of over indulgence, I find it hard to believe that they only have a couple of slices of bread and a few vegetables.....
in these modern days of over indulgence, I find it hard to believe that they only have a couple of slices of bread and a few vegetables..... hobbitdamian
  • Score: 0

3:07pm Sun 5 Dec 10

quiddle says...

bootzilla wrote:
Yet another echo story heavy on the hyperbole. If the photographer managed to get there to take a photo was he stranded as well?
James Young loving your idea of turning this repetitive rag into a weekly. Once a year would do quite frankly though.
Well, actually, the photographer had to park at the bottom of Killick's Hill and walk up. Whilst he was struggling on the ice, I also saw a car and a van attempt to climb the hill - both had to give up and slide back down, so there was no possibility of Asda or Tesco vans getting to Weare Close (as some have suggested).
[quote][p][bold]bootzilla[/bold] wrote: Yet another echo story heavy on the hyperbole. If the photographer managed to get there to take a photo was he stranded as well? James Young loving your idea of turning this repetitive rag into a weekly. Once a year would do quite frankly though.[/p][/quote]Well, actually, the photographer had to park at the bottom of Killick's Hill and walk up. Whilst he was struggling on the ice, I also saw a car and a van attempt to climb the hill - both had to give up and slide back down, so there was no possibility of Asda or Tesco vans getting to Weare Close (as some have suggested). quiddle
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Mon 6 Dec 10

Gordon Bennett says...

Years ago when we paid a fraction of the council tax we do now the council used to grit all the roads in the Killicks Hill area. Now they cannot be bothered to grit any of them. Too busy counting their pension pots no doubt. They install a grit bin for taxpayers to do it themselves but fail to provide any grit. This is not a story about being stranded it is yet another example of council inefficiency. However the story did some good, the bin has now been filled.
Years ago when we paid a fraction of the council tax we do now the council used to grit all the roads in the Killicks Hill area. Now they cannot be bothered to grit any of them. Too busy counting their pension pots no doubt. They install a grit bin for taxpayers to do it themselves but fail to provide any grit. This is not a story about being stranded it is yet another example of council inefficiency. However the story did some good, the bin has now been filled. Gordon Bennett
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Tue 7 Dec 10

Dobby House Elf says...

There is two important words in this story "Weare Close". Given the current financial climate where people are losing jobs, I don't think the council is going to have the funds and resources to grit/salt a "close". If any resident would like their "close" gritted then perhaps first they'd like to ring the council and volunteer to at least double their council tax to pay for it. While they are on the phone perhaps they could volunteer to pay for the other thousand or so "close's" so we can all have ours gritted in Weymouth and Portland too.
I'd much rather the council use their resources to grit the main roads in order to save lives.
There is two important words in this story "Weare Close". Given the current financial climate where people are losing jobs, I don't think the council is going to have the funds and resources to grit/salt a "close". If any resident would like their "close" gritted then perhaps first they'd like to ring the council and volunteer to at least double their council tax to pay for it. While they are on the phone perhaps they could volunteer to pay for the other thousand or so "close's" so we can all have ours gritted in Weymouth and Portland too. I'd much rather the council use their resources to grit the main roads in order to save lives. Dobby House Elf
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Mon 20 Dec 10

jmd1958 says...

Councils, it seems, are very efficient in ensuring that all their employees have completed the mandatory diversity and social inclusion training courses but fail dismally at basic stuff. Most for profit organisations don't have anything like the staffing levels that local authorities take for granted. Yes, if you don't need to go out stay in, it will save the NHS a fortune and a lot of pain. A&E depts are awash with elderly people with broken hips and ankles and none of it is necessary. It would be a real treat for most people to be able to stay at home.
None of the main roads I had to use this morning were gritted. When they are why are the pavements ignored? It's far easier to drive on ice than to walk on it.
Councils, it seems, are very efficient in ensuring that all their employees have completed the mandatory diversity and social inclusion training courses but fail dismally at basic stuff. Most for profit organisations don't have anything like the staffing levels that local authorities take for granted. Yes, if you don't need to go out stay in, it will save the NHS a fortune and a lot of pain. A&E depts are awash with elderly people with broken hips and ankles and none of it is necessary. It would be a real treat for most people to be able to stay at home. None of the main roads I had to use this morning were gritted. When they are why are the pavements ignored? It's far easier to drive on ice than to walk on it. jmd1958
  • Score: 0

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