FAMILIES on a Dunfermline housing estate are on a slippery slope after Fife Council removed two grit bins from the area.

For years, the bins have been vital to householders in Craigston Park as just a small covering of snow leaves the roads in a dangerous condition.

Liane Harvey, who lives in Craigievar Close, contacted the Press after realising that two had been removed.

“There are two quite steep hills and if you are in the car, it only takes half an inch of snow to make it really treacherous to get up the first hill without even getting to the second one,” she said. 

“We never have the gritter lorry come here, the only time I can remember was after the really bad weather had cleared in 2010. Residents do it themselves but they have now removed the two grit bins from the hills. If it snows, there’s no way out. 

“We all have work and families. People pay council tax – and a lot of it – and expect to be able to get out of their street.

“Even if it is a mild winter and there’s ice, it is really easy to lose control of the car. Somebody is going to get hurt. 

“There are a lot of kids and elderly who are going to be stuck. How is an ambulance or something like that going to get in? When there’s an inch of snow, we need to carry on with our lives. I understand it is different when there’s five or six inches of snow but if there’s an inch, we should be able to manage but we need the grit bins.

“Our estate is awful at the best of times but without residents gritting it, we are snookered.”

Bellyeoman Community Council treasurer and Craigston Park resident Richard Davison has started a petition to bring the bins back.

“As a community council, we were informed about this and we did complain as we thought they were taking too many grit bins away in the areas, particularly here in North Dunfermline where every winter, we are quite badly affected by the snow,” he said.

“They came and took two away on a lorry on Thursday and have left one which is on a flat bit. There are no other grit bins in this area all the way up to Laurieston Drive. 

“If you were going to take away the bins, you would take away the one they have left. The logic of them leaving the one they did is beyond me.” 

Fife Council service manager Bill Liddle said a winter service policy review had been carried out after a decision by the economy tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee in May.

“As part of this, we assessed the existing supply of grit bins with a view to reducing the number of bins to a more sustainable level given our limited resources,” he said.

“We have started to remove bins across Fife from priority gritting routes, from places where there are a lot of bins serving a small area and particularly those where we’ve seen low demand, and completion of removal is expected in mid-October.

"We’ve also consulted with local councillors about particular issues or hotspots in their area and taken their feedback into account.

“Unfortunately, we cannot afford to service all the grit bins we used to have but, if residents think there is a particular case for keeping a bin in a specific location, we are happy to discuss concerns.”