Snow news in Epping Forest

A quick pointer to the district council’s snow update page, which is now being updated pretty regularly.

Recycling blue box covered in snowWaste and recycling collections

The bad news is that waste and recycling collections were suspended completely today because of accidents. (I dread to think how long it will now take to get back to normal. There are roads in Buckhurst Hill that haven’t received a wheelie bin collection since early December.)


However as a result our pavements are finally receiving some attention as waste collection staff have been made available to grit shopping centres and car parks. There’s been no specific mention of pavements leading to transport hubs or pavements near schools so I’ve followed this up.


At a Local Highways Panel meeting six weeks ago Essex County Council told us that it had record quantities of salt in store for this winter – far more than it actually expected to use. I was therefore concerned to learn that it is already cutting back on its gritting programme for the reasons set out here. That link also gives details of the roads that will still be treated.

In Epping the only road included is the High Road. This is really bad news for heavily used roads which are usually gritted like Lindsey Street, Station Road and Bower Hill, which could be treacherous by morning. The county council expects to be able to return to its usual gritting programme on Sunday evening.


The local media is covering the snow episode (I don’t think we can yet call it a crisis) assiduously. BBC Essex’s essential information page contains some useful links and should be authoritative about school closures. Plenty of news also at Everything Epping Forest and the Epping Forest Guardian.

3 thoughts on “Snow news in Epping Forest

  1. Daniel Brett says:

    Are you aware that Tory councillor Ben Murphy managed to get Essex County Council to put his own road, Crows Road, on the secondary list? He had argued that the road is an access road to St Johns School, but looking at the map that doesn’t seem to be the case. I don’t know Epping, but this episode stinks of political favours among the Tories, particularly when there are access roads to other schools that are not being gritted.


  2. I would be surprised (and disappointed) if this decision was taken for purely political reasons – it should be an operational decision made by officers.

    Having said that the main accesses to St John’s School are from Tower Road and Lower Swaines, both of which are already on the county council’s routine gritting list. Crows Road and Upper Swaines is an alternative route used by some folk.

    Of the other school roads in Epping: Ivy Chimneys Road (for Ivy Chimneys School), Coopersale Common (for Coopersale & Theydon Garnon School) and Stewards Green Road (for Coopersale Hall) are all on the routine list – and are also bus routes which is one of the criteria for gritting. I think the top part of St John’s Road (for Epping Primary School as well as the the main Epping car parks) gets done when the secondary roads are treated but it doesn’t seem actually to appear on the gritting list I have. I am not sure how this compares with the rest of the district.

    To be honest it’s a bit of an academic discussion at the moment because the county council very rarely gets round to the secondary list of roads. Indeed until Sunday evening it is not even gritting most of the routine roads but just a selection of high priority routes – see map here [PDF].

    As a former Crows Road resident myself I can understand why people want their road gritted and don’t begrudge them their place on the list – but it is fair to say that plenty of other local streets are in similar need.

  3. Daniel Brett says:

    Yes, everyone wants their roads gritted. Some roads in Loughton have effectively been closed down because they are on an incline and are not gritted. We all have to accept that there are roads that are a greater priority than our own. Questions should be raised over whether there has been political favouritism and how Crows Road managed to get on the gritting list, when more important school access roads (such as most of Colebrook Lane in Loughton) have apparently not.

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