ANGRY residents are demanding to know why Hyndburn’s grit bins have not been refilled by county council bosses.
Earlier this month, the borough like many parts of the country, was brought to its knees by some of the worst blizzards for 30 years.
Many roads became impassable, schools closed and many residents faced being unable to get to work, some even abandoning their cars in the freezing weather.
But following an Observer investigation this week we found that every grit box we checked across Hyndburn had not been refilled and was lying empty.
The Met Office is predicting sub zero temperatures with the possibility of snow.
Residents fear the area could be plunged into chaos if the heavy snow makes an unwelcome return.
Labour group leader Councillor Graham Jones said: "I just think that the county council’s policy on this is wrong.
"They are not filling up the grit bins and they don’t seem to understand that they are a valuable resource to the people of Hyndburn.
"It is like an army of unpaid labour helping tackle the problems we have had which does great work for everyone.
"To not fill the bins up is just a false economy. On my estate, Warmden Avenue in Accrington, we had 250 people who were unable to get out. Why grit the main roads if people can’t even get to them? The two things need to go hand in hand."
John Parker, 70, of Clifton Drive, Great Harwood said: "The lack of gritting has caused a lot of problems when people have been trying to get into town.
"We have not had any grit for about a month and it is getting to be a real problem. You hope there will be no-one hurt."
A Rishton resident, who did not wish to be named said: "The bins near us have not been filled as far as I know.
"My partner has not been able to get the car out of the garage because of it. We really need the bins to be refilled and I don’t know why they haven’t been. "
Brian Eagle, Lancashire County Council’s highway maintenance manager, said: "The government has instructed all councils to reduce the amount of salt they use by up to 50 per cent. In Lancashire this means that we have had to stop filling grit bins and ensure that our resources are targeted on the main priority routes around Lancashire.
"We are now looking to fill key bins with grit sand when significant snow or ice is forecast.
"The recent cold snap meant that Lancashire County Council’s gritting teams were out for almost a month in order to keep Lancashire moving. By managing our salt supplies well we did not run out – the same cannot be said for other councils in the country."