Hundreds of grit bins vanish as Fife freezes

© DC Thomson
Councillor Tim Brett has had people in his ward complain about Fife Council removing grit bins from their streets across the area.

More than 400 grit bins have vanished from Fife’s streets this winter, despite weeks of freezing weather.

Council chiefs have agreed to suspend the removal programme following a public outcry, but many concerned communities are still battling to have their bins returned.

Tay Bridgehead councillor Tim Brett said 250 grit bins had gone from north east Fife, along with 157 in the south.

A further 75 had been earmarked for removal in mid Fife but they were granted a stay of execution when the local authority announced it was suspending the withdrawal until spring.

The Liberal Democrat councillor said residents who had fought against the removal were now being penalised.

“What we have now is two parts of Fife disadvantaged because they have lost a lot of their bins and the middle of Fife isn’t because of the outcry from different areas,” he said.

Mr Brett said he had received a stream of requests from members of the public asking for their neighbourhood grit bins to be replaced.

“I’ve put in 24 requests from my ward alone and so far eight have been agreed and re-instated,” he said.

“I’m pleased the council has responded but there are still issues because grit bins are used on residential streets off the main gritting routes.”

Fife Council said it was reviewing the replacement of bins on a case-by-case basis.

Critics have claimed reducing the number of grit bins on primary one and two routes was a false economy, suggesting the cost to society of treating people for slips on icy pavements could be far higher.

The council’s senior transportation officer Derek Crowe insisted the authority was not short-changing communities,

He said: “Many residents have been in touch via phone or social media to raise concerns about conditions and the level of gritting around Fife.

“I’d like to stress that we haven’t cut back on our gritting and salting activity and have plenty of salt and grit to use.

“We constantly monitor road temperatures and weather forecasts, and take action to respond to the conditions but, with such a large area to cover, we have to prioritise certain routes.”