FURIOUS drivers were left out in the cold when grit bins were removed from icy Hyndburn roads in a week of snow and freezing temperatures.
Many were unable to leave their homes as side streets became impassable and one motorist crashed into a wall after skidding on ice.
The controversial decision to remove 23 of Hyndburn's 121 grit bins was taken by Lancashire County Council but was met by a frosty reception as snow made roads treacherous.
And faced with a deluge of complaints, the county council was forced to back down and agree to reinstate some of the bins, though it has not clarified exactly how many.
Taxi driver John Williams, of Riley Street, Accrington, crashed his Volvo V40 on an untreated road after a grit bin in near-by Bath Street was taken away. He said: "I was only doing about 10mph but with the road not being gritted I slid into a wall, bounced off and hit a house. It will cost between £600 and £700 to repair the damage. I am not happy."
Neighbour James Duxbury threatened to withold his council tax until the grit bins were reinstated.
He said: "I went to get some salt from the bin and thought it had been stolen. I am not getting the service I pay for."
He said motorists relied on the grit bin to get their cars out in icy conditions.
Residents have now been told their bin will be one of those put back.
Baxenden residents were equally angry when four grit bins were removed from the village. One said: "White Acre Road was completely closed off on Tuesday because of treacherous conditions. I took a risk and got my car out but others were stranded.
"I pay £1,300 council tax and the roads are left in such a state I can't get to work. It is disgraceful."
Baxenden councillor John Griffiths accused the county of putting savings before safety, adding: "This U-turn shows what a stupid decision it was to remove these grit bins in the first place."
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe added: "It is a shame common sense did not prevail."
A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: "Earlier this year we reviewed grit bin locations. The bins that were removed either didn't comply with the winter maintenance code of practice or provided little benefit to road users."
He said the county council had received a number of complaints and added: "We have reacted to these and to the likelihood of a very harsh winter by modifying the grit bin assessment countywide."