Banbury’s snow warden’s show of force

Parson's Street during the Beast from the East
Parson's Street during the Beast from the East

Banbury’s army of snow wardens were out in force last week making Banbury’s roads and pavements safe for their neighbours.

The Banbury Town Council-run project sees volunteers take on the responsibility of gritting the streets where they live, areas not covered by county council gritting lorries.

The wardens are trained, given protective clothing, and a supply of road salt and are alerted by text, email or telephone when bad weather is on its way.

The scheme means that residents, in particular the elderly, can get to the shops or work safely.

Around 100 snow wardens are on standby in different areas of the town while town centre, businesses have volunteered to keep pavements outside their shops and offices free from snow and ice.

Leader of Banbury Town Council Kieron Mallon said: “This is an initiative started by this council around four years ago. Up to now the wardens have been used sparingly but last week they really came into their own.

“Thanks to their quick response and dedication many residential and shopping areas that would have been dangerous for pedestrians were made safe and kept safe.

“Our street wardens are truly unsung heroes.”

Town centre volunteer and Church Lane butcher Steve Betts said: “We were out every day clearing the lane from Parson’s Street to Church Passage to help our customers. We were well prepared and made it our first job each morning.”

Mike Hall, the council’s recreation and amenities manager, said: “Many snow wardens have gone far beyond their own patch. They’ve been fantastic and thanks to them people have been able to get out and about.

“Our park rangers and our maintenance contractors have cleared snow from our cemeteries and they’ve gritted parks and St Mary’s Churchyard. They’ve also cleared parts of the town centre.

He added: “So far we’ve used around 30 tons of grit, all spread by hand.”