Published: December 19, 2010
Burnham-On-Sea traders fume over slippery High Street 'ice rink'

Traders in Burnham-On-Sea have been left reeling after snow turned the town's High Street and pavements into an 'ice rink' on what should have been the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Shop owners say Somerset County Council should be gritting the High Street and removing snow and ice from pavements as a priority since it acts as the 'financial artery' for the town, particularly during the week before Christmas. spoke to many High Street traders on Sunday who said they had endured their worst ever trade on the weekend before Christmas.

Carrie Davies from the Giggles gift shop on the High Street, pictured above, said: "The High Street is the life blood of this town - it's ridiculous that it hasn't been gritted at all. Why do we pay business and council tax rates if nothing is done to help us? I can fully understand why people have not been coming into town given the slippery state of the pavements."

She added: "We've cleared an area outside the shop but the rest of the High Street is terrible. We only made £10 profit this morning, which is terrible for what should be a very busy shopping day."

Colin Morris at Hurleys newsagents said several of his customers had slipped over while walking along the High Street on Sunday morning.

"The High Street is like an ice rink. It's ludicrous that nothing has been done by the council to clear the snow at all - the state of the pavements today is just as it would have been 100 years ago during winter," he told

"No-one can blame the council for the weather conditions, but I am sure that they could have given their staff a few days off in lieu in order to get crucial streets like this cleared. It's the council's organisation at fault, not the workers."

Linda Lawrence at the Pick 'n' Mix sweet shop on Burnham High Street, added: "It's been very, very quiet - which is not surprising given the state of the pavements. We have fingers crossed for a thaw and a last-minute rush later in the week."

Michael O'Neil, a chef at the Somerset and Dorset pub, told "It should have been a very busy weekend for us all, but the atrocious state of the High Street has severely hit trade for everyone."

And Heather Carver at George Reed Galleries added: "I'm resigned to it being like this all week."

Town and district councillor Joe Leach, who himself slipped over in Burnham High Street on Sunday morning, told "I'm very sympathetic with the traders' views and am calling on the County Council - which oversees highways gritting - to include the High Street on their main gritting routes. It's crucial that the town centre should be kept safe for shoppers."

Pictured (from top) Carrie Davies from Giggles, Colin Morris from Hurleys, and town councillor Joe Leach in Burnham High Street


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