View Grit bin locations in a larger map

I’ve updated my map of grit bins now the council has expanded the scheme. The original 20 were well used so there’s another load being dropped around the borough this week.

As before they are placed in areas that are not part of the council’s priority gritting programme, So as before, if there isn’t one near you it isn’t because of some horrible town hall conspiracy, it’s either that other areas are higher risk, or your area is done by the council directly. Of course, it’s not a science – this is the first year we’ve done this and are learning as we go so placements will be refined over the months and years.

I will relate one anecdote from the last lot of snow. Although these could be seen as a ‘Big Society’ initiative, I was intrigued by the Nudge aspect. I was the first on my stretch of road to grit, doing the area outside my house and a couple of neighbours; a day later I counted five others that had done the same, all on that same stretch and all my side of the road. Around the corner or on the other side of the road where you couldn’t see the cleared pavement (because of buildings or cars obstructing the view) and the pavement remained white.

Statistically not significant, though the theory suggests that people are likely to emulate the behaviour of people like them. In this case, gritting outside their homes because one of their close neighbours has.

Which set me thinking about how well received the new grit bins will be, and I think it will be fascinating to see, comparatively, how well used they are (I have no idea how accurately we are logging usage, grit is inexpensive, and the effort of accurate weighing and recording may well quickly dwarf the cost of the grit itself). However, there are two which I think would be interesting to compare usage with bins in areas of street properties.

Nightingale Lane. This box has been placed outside some flats (I think the legally famous Hightrees House) and I wonder how that will play with the shared entrance and exit. With street properties it’s fairly clear which neighbour has cleared their frontage, but with flats? Will nudge work here, or will people assume it’s someone else who isn’t like them making the effort (perhaps someone from the council or the management company).

Bellevue Road. This box is at the bottom of the footpath on the bridge over the railway line, and isn’t that close to residential properties. The nearest are on the other side of the bridge, while the other sides of the road are Wandsworth Common and The Hope pub. The nudge example I gave, therefore, would only work if people saw someone gritting and recognised them.

[I produced the map using the council’s location list, Google maps and for some addresses Steve Morse’s address converter. You can download the list from my data page. Obviously any errors are mine.]

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