'Does somebody have to die?' - plea for road be gritted amid icy weather

 old RAF West Raynham site

Nicky Gilkes, from Blossoms Childcare Nursery, wants Station Road - between West Raynham and East Rudham - to be gritted - Credit: Google Maps/Blossoms Childcare Nursery

A nursery boss fears young children and his staff could be injured or killed unless a hazardous road is gritted amid icy weather. 

Nicky Gilkes, from Blossoms Childcare Nursery in West Raynham, is pleading with Norfolk County Council to add Station Road - between Raynham and East Rudham - to its gritting route. 

Station Road runs from East Rudham to the former RAF West Raynham site

Station Road runs from East Rudham to the former RAF West Raynham site - Credit: Google Maps

He said three incidents had taken place on January 7 near the nursery, which is at the old RAF West Raynham site.

Police and the fire service said they had not been called to Station Road on that date, while the council's highways services manager, Karl Rands, said officers had only attended two incidents in the last five years.

He added that existing roads would have to be removed to accommodate new locations.

However, Mr Gilkes claimed he had been asking for the road to be gritted for four years - during which time he believes there have been 19 incidents involving his clients in icy conditions.

The 39-year-old is concerned it will take a tragedy for his voice to be heard.

Nicky Gilkes, director of Blossoms Childcare Nursery 

Nicky Gilkes, director of Blossoms Childcare Nursery - Credit: Blossoms Childcare Nursery

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He said: “Does somebody have to die for this to be taken seriously? 

“We are so scared when temperatures reach minus figures, we are worried that one of our staff or children will die on the road.

“I do not know what else to do to protect the families who rely on us for childcare. 

"The road is not our responsibility, but you feel you are responsible because they trust us with their children.”

But Mr Rands added: “Over the last five years, police have only recorded two slight personal injury accidents on Station Road between East Rudham and West Raynham.

Gritters will be out this weekend. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Norfolk County Council manages gritting routes across the county - Credit: PA

"Whilst all accidents are regrettable, this is a low overall number and would not lead us to intervene further at this time.

“We were contacted by Helhoughton, Raynham and East Rudham parish councils about this issue last year. 

"However, due to limited salt capacity on the gritting vehicles and time constraints, it is likely that an existing road may need to be removed from the current schedule to accommodate any new request.”

Mr Gilkes said he took matters into his own hands land year, buying rock salt and spreading it along the route to make it as safe as possible.

He added that the gritting should start “from today”.

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