THIS WEEK IN 1980: Black ice Monday for Hants drivers

A lorry ran aground on a roundabout as frosty weather took its toll on our local roads (6188-1)
A lorry ran aground on a roundabout as frosty weather took its toll on our local roads (6188-1)
The scales of justice SUS-170707-092211001

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After four rush-hour incidents had closed Eastern Road in Portsmouth for an hour, city engineer Neil Jeffrey angrily denied allegations by some motorists that the main route into the city had been left unprotected against overnight frost.

‘By 6.45am there were 40 lorries on gritting and salting operations in Portsmouth, and Eastern Road was given a high priority,’ he declared.

‘Although the first gritting operations may not have proved to be enough to make Eastern Road entirely safe, motorists must appreciate that all the gritting and salting in the world will not make ice-covered roads as safe as they would be on a nice dry day.

“Drivers should be aware that they need to take special care in conditions of black ice and whenever there has been severe frost overnight.’

Answering allegations by some motorists that there was no visible evidence that Eastern Road had been treated before 7.30am, Mr Jeffrey said that salt scattered on ice could not be seen and that Eastern Road had been treated for ice according to typical procedure.