Glasgow & West Scotland

Attacks threaten North Lanarkshire's gritter service

Gritting lorry
Image caption The council said it had pulled its gritting lorries from an area in Wishaw because of safety concerns

One of Scotland's largest councils has warned it could stop gritting some roads because of attacks on gritting lorries and their drivers.

North Lanarkshire Council has already stopped regularly gritting in one area because of safety concerns.

The local authority has said it will do the same in other places if it has to.

In the worst incident, the windscreen of a gritter was smashed when a man punched through it. The driver narrowly avoided injury.

Driver David Gibson said he had been driving during a night shift when a man walked into the road, obstructing the gritter.

"He'd obviously been drinking or taking drugs. He was just in the middle of the road and wouldn't move," he said.

"I obviously had to stop and all of a sudden he punched the windscreen and cracked it."

The council said attacks on gritters had become a serious concern and it has now declared a zero tolerance policy.

David Smart, of North Lanarkshire Council, said the attacks had serious implications and were not simply about "children throwing snowballs".

"We could have injuries, and we could have consequences for the communities themselves," he said.

"Problems with attacks on gritters could have consequences for emergency services if they couldn't get in to service communities."

The local authority is believed to be the first in Scotland to publicly admit areas have not been gritted because of concerns for the safety of staff.

The council said roads in the Pather area of Wishaw had not been treated regularly for two years.

In Cumbernauld mini-tractor drivers were pulled off snow-clearing duties after coming under attack.

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