Families injured on icy 'untreated' paths on school run

Residents have hit out after slipping on ice in an estate in East Lothian.

Families injured on icy ‘untreated’ paths on school run in Haddington estate LDRS

A mum had to be rescued after a buggy carrying her eight month old baby and toddler crashed down on top of her as she tried to walk on “untreated” pavements covered in black ice.

Dionne Hogg and her children Eve, three, and baby Arran, narrowly escaped serious injury after the incident on a housing estate in Haddington, East Lothian on Monday morning.

The incident was one of a number reported involving children and adults falling as families tried to get to the local nursery and school on “untreated” roads.

It sparked fury from residents who had been calling on the council to step in at the estate where they say unadopted roads are being bypassed by gritters and ignored by developers.

Roads in the Letham Mains estate were under a sheet of ice.

Workmen ran to help Dionne and her children after she was trapped under the pram holding her baby son with Eve, who had been standing on the back bar to avoid falling on ice herself.

Dionne said the road was like a death trap as she tried to get Eve to her nursery from her home along the main thoroughfare of the estate Hay’s Walk in the town’s Letham Mains estate.

She said: “As I was walking toward the ramp part of the pavement I pushed the buggy up and it slid right back toppled on top of myself and my three-year-old with my eight-month-old baby still in the buggy.

“I have extremely hurt my knee and took a chunk of out my finger. I couldn’t get back up because it was so icy, l couldn’t stand. So my baby was upside down in the buggy, thankfully okay and my three-year-old couldn’t get up either.

“Thankfully lovely men had stopped their work vans and helped me get up. It was a death trap out there, we have had this issue for three years since we moved in 2020.

“No one wants to take responsibility to grit the roads and pavements.”

Dad Ross Whitten, who lives on Kerr Loan on the estate, said he had to keep his son at home until mid morning because they could not walk on the pavement outside their home.

He said: “There are only two grit bins in our area and there should be five, the ones we do have we couldn’t reach because they are too far away and the street was just a sheet of ice.

“Families here have been emailing the developers pleading with them to treat the roads since the snow came last week. They eventually came out last night but then the rain washed away what grit was put down and it iced over.

“The council needs to ensure the developers are meeting their obligations.”

The Letham Mains estate is split into different phases being developed by a number of housebuilders and East Lothian Council only adopts the road when each part of the development is completed.

Two years ago Mr Whitten was among residents who hit out at Taylor Wimpey who built their homes on the estate  after they removed grit bins leaving them concerned about walk in the streets, which are built on a slope.

The developer said the bins had been deployed to other parts of the estate and confirmed it provides 12 grit bins on its part of the estate as part of an agreement with the local authority.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said they had sent gritters into their streets to provide “additional support” to residents and would be returning today.

They said: “As a responsible homebuilder, we provide 12 grit bins at our Letham Mains development in Haddington.

“In addition, and in advance of the latest poor weather, we deployed our contractors with gritters yesterday to provide additional support to those living at the development.

“Despite their best efforts, heavy rain and freezing conditions continue today. We are fully aware of this ongoing situation for homeowners at the development and our contractors are being redeployed again today to grit paths, roads and restock grit bins.

“We would like to reassure all local residents at the development that we are doing what we can to help, and we can also confirm that we have met the requirements as set out and agreed with East Lothian Council.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Most of the road and pavement network within the Letham Mains Development has not yet been adopted by the council. In the meantime, the developers are responsible for winter maintenance.

“Council teams have been working across the county gritting, including on the areas of Letham Mains that we are responsible for. Unfortunately heavy rainfall washed the grit away and then froze, creating the conditions described.”

Stewart Milne, which is building Letham Views on the large site said it had also provided grit bins in the development.

A spokesperson said: “As a responsible housebuilder, we can confirm that grit bins are in place at our Letham Views development in Haddington, including two new bins which were delivered today, in response to the icy weather conditions. These bins are filled regularly, most recently this morning.”

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