THE main road from Niton to Newport will be gritted this winter, it was announced by Isle of Wight Council leader David Pugh last night (Wednesday).
Earlier this week it was revealed the road, which includes Bleak Down, was to be re-instated on gritting routes under the highways PFI from April.
In a surprise move however, the council brought forward the decision and gritters treated the road last night for the first time in three years.
Highways chiefs had been faced with a 550-name petition demanding the road be included in gritting runs.
Cllr David Pugh told colleagues last night the was to be added to the gritting schedule with "immediate effect".
Other routes, including Undercliff Drive and Military Road, will be included when the Island’s PFI contract starts in April, or possibly sooner, he added.
The U-turn followed a campaign by parish councillor and former journalist, Jonathan Young, who told the County Press today (Thursday): "This is brilliant news, and also, to be honest, quite unexpected.
"It's good to feel we've been listened to, because in villages like ours people often feel their problems aren't properly understood at County Hall.
"We don't really do politics in Niton, so it's been a community thing, with support from the local grocery store and all sorts of people reporting accidents and so on.
"If we've been able to help other places which will now get winter maintenance, then that's a bonus."
Concerns were raised this week after three accidents happened in 30 minutes on the Niton to Rookley road on Tuesday night.
Resident James Godolphin said two cars and a cyclist skidded due to icy conditions between 6.45pm and 7.15pm, though no-one was injured.