Somerset County Council is proposing to cut precautionary gritting routes – where roads are gritted in advance of wintry weather – from 23 to 16 as it strives to save £15M by 2020.

If the changes are approved by the council’s cabinet on September 12, many  roads across Somerset will be deleted from the programme.

A detailed list appears below.

The council admits young people getting to school, pregnant women and the elderly are all likely to be particularly affected by the changes.

Many of the routes being cut are in rural areas, including the Exmoor National Park, the Brendon Hills, the Mendip Hills and the Quantock Hills.

But the cuts will also hit a large number of roads connecting major settlements – including a sizeable section of Yeovil’s western corridor, which is currently being upgraded.

The council has published its proposal to cut routes on its website ahead of the cabinet meeting in Taunton on September 12.

The proposal is one of more than 70 options which the council is considering in order to generate £15M in savings, of which £13M must come before the end of the financial year.

The council has said that it will continue to grit key strategic and county routes – such as the A30, A38, A39 and A358 – as well as key freight routes and links to emergency stations.

However, it is proposing to no longer grit roads to settlements which are 500 feet or more above sea level, roads which lead into adjoining counties, and school links between urban and rural areas.

The following roads will be affected:

  • Axbridge/ Cheddar Axbridge Road (not A371)
  • B3135 Cliff Road Shipham Road Bridgwater & surrounding villages
  • Enmore Road Parkway Bruton/ Evercreech B3081 (including Prestleigh Road)
  • Westcombe Road Chard & surrounding villages
  • B3162 (Forton to Winsham) Combe
  • Beacon Lane (north of A30)
  • Combe Hill (Combe St Nicholas)
  • Crimchard Stoopers Hill (towards the A30/ Eagle Tavern turning)
  • Unnamed road, Bishopswood
  • Coleford/ Leigh-upon-Mendip/ Stoke St Michael
  • Burnt House Lane
  • Leigh Street
  • Long Cross Bottom
  • Mendip Road
  • Somers Hill
  • Tansey
  • Crewkerne & surrounding villages
  • A3066 (Haselbury Plucknett/ North Perrott)
  • Broadshard Road
  • Merriott Road
  • Culmhead
  • Unnamed road (Culmhead to Hemyock)
  • Exmoor villages
  • Ash Lane (Winsford to Withypool)
  • B3190 (Upton)
  • B3222 Battleton (Dulverton)
  • B3223 Room Hill Road (Exford)
  • B3223 (Simonsbath to Devon border)
  • B3358 (Simonsbath to Devon border)
  • Exford Road (Exford to Winsford)
  • Jury Hill (Dulverton)
  • Unnamed road, Exton and Brompton Regis
  • Unnamed road, Simonsbath
  • Frome & surrounding villages
  • Berkley Road
  • Knaptons Hill
  • Rodden Road
  • Glastonbury
  • Chilkwell Street
  • High Street
  • Magdelene Street
  • Wells Road
  • Highbridge/ Burnham-on-Sea
  • B3139 Burnham Road
  • B3141 Causeway
  • Bennett Road
  • Ilchester B3151 (towards Kingsdon)
  • B3151 (RNAS Yeovilton stretch)
  • Ilminster & surrounding villages
  • B3168 (eastern approach to Ilminster)
  • Boyton Hill
  • Harp Road (Watergore)
  • Hayes End (South Petherton)
  • Kingstone Hill
  • Long Orchard Hill
  • New Road (Seavington St Michael)
  • Townsend (Ilminster)
  • Langport & surrounding villages
  • B3165 North Street (Stapleton)
  • B3165 Sutton Hill (Long Load)
  • Stoke Road (Martock)
  • Tengore Lane
  • Marston Magna
  • B3148 Rimpton Hill (towards Sherborne)
  • Midsomer Norton/ Radstock
  • B3355 Silver Street
  • Chilcompton Road
  • Milborne Port
  • Station Road (to Charlton Horethorne)
  • Minehead
  • Porlock Road
  • Shepton Mallet
  • B3136 Bath Road
  • Taunton & surrounding villages
  • Cheddon Road
  • Chestnut Drive
  • Cothelstone Road (Bishops Lydeard)
  • Dene Road (Cotford St Luke)
  • Honiton Road (Trull)
  • Lipe Lane
  • Solomon’s Hollow
  • St Michael Road (Creech St Michael)
  • Staplegrove Road
  • Trull Road
  • Windmill Hill
  • Wellington
  • Exeter Road
  • Mantle Street
  • Wellington Hill
  • Wrangcombe Road
  • Williton & surrounding villages
  • Abbey Road
  • B3188 (via Elworthy and Monksilver)
  • B3190 (Tropiquaria to Raleigh’s Cross)
  • Five Bells
  • North Road
  • Wincanton
  • Bayford Hill
  • High Street
  • The Batch
  • West Hill
  • Wiveliscombe
  • B3188 (including Ridge Hill)
  • Blackwater Lane
  • Yeovil & surrounding villages
  • Combe Street Lane
  • East Street (West Coker)
  • Preston Road
  • St Michael’s Avenue (northernmost section)
  • Stiby Road
  • Thorne Lane
  • Tintinhull Road
  • Western Avenue

The M5, A303 and A36 are all the responsibility of Highways England, and will not be affected by the council’s decision.

The council estimates that it can generate £120,000 in savings by cutting these routes.

It is also proposing to remove all roadside salt supplies over the winter to save £40,000 – meaning that the public will not be able to clear public pavements or footpaths if they get icy or covered with snow.

In its own risk assessment, the council has admitted the changes would hit rural areas the hardest and could harm the elderly and vulnerable.

A spokesperson said: “The proposals do have a greater impact on rural areas. Rural areas do have a larger proportion of older residents than urban areas.

“The proposals could impact on access to schools and education facilities for children and young people.

“The proposal will make the rural highway network, including foot-ways, less accessible and more hazardous than previously.

“The reduced number of gritting routes will mean that less of the network will be treated in anticipation of frost, ice and snow. It will thus be less available for use by pregnant and new mothers and their support team and, if used, more hazardous to drive on.”

The council has said that the impact of these changes would be “mitigated by the continuation of any reactive or emergency works required.”