Icy roads forecast and no extra gritters available were the two key factors in the City of Lincoln Council’s decision to cancel the last day of the Lincoln Christmas Market.
On Monday, the City Council and a security firm boss debunked rumours that a mass staff walk-out led to the closure of the market. A disgruntled fired employee was to blame for starting the rumour apparently.
But Lincolnshire County Council, which operates the gritters covering 1,900 miles of A and B roads, is now in the spotlight after they rejected a request for extra gritters on Saturday night due to lack of resources.
Simon Walters, Strategic Director of Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council, said: “On Saturday evening we asked the highways authority if they could support Lincoln Christmas Market by providing some enhanced localised gritting around the market, at our park and ride site and the coach park.
“However, at that time, the Met Office’s amber weather warning indicated the whole of the county would receive significant snowfall, so we were told this wouldn’t be possible.
“The amber warning meant that journeys should only be taken in emergency and our decision was then made with travel across the county and beyond in mind.
“We did consider opening the market to locals only but after considering the views of our partners we decided this approach would not be a practical solution.”
Lincolnshire County Council said in a statement: “The City of Lincoln Council asked whether we could grit additional areas around the market, but given the freezing temperatures across Lincolnshire, we had to focus on treating the key routes for the county, including the main roads into Lincoln. That’s around 1,900 miles of highway, and required all our gritters.”
Lincolnshire Police Superintendent Phil Vickers previously added: “Not our [Lincolnshire Police] advice to cancel. We all looked at the same information, Police decision (mine) is to recommend only travel if necessary in West Lincs. Market organiser decision not to open Sunday.”