A WOMAN whose car was smashed by a lorry after trying to take her mum to hospital has slammed the council as 'disgusting' for not gritting their roads.

Abigail Cousins hit out at Somerset County Council over its decision to not treat the road in Combe St Nicholas, which ultimately caused a lorry to career of path and into her car.

She took to social media to voice her anger, before describing the 'mayhem' in the village to the News.

Abigail said: "Absolutely disgusting. Somerset County Council has had the wonderful idea that Combe St Nicholas doesn’t need to be gritted.

"My very ill Mum had an appointment at Chard Hospital that really couldn’t be missed, so we attempted to drive in. "My car was skidding all the way down the road.

"Thank god there was no one coming or we would have crashed.

"We were then told by a dog walker that even if I had made it out of the village, people are stuck at the bottom of the hill so there was no way I was going to be able to come home.

"How is this acceptable? Does the council think that Combe St Nicholas doesn't need access to hospitals?

"Do they not realise that the majority of people that live in Combe are elderly?

"Did they think that they were doing us a favour, and giving us an excuse to have a day off of work?

"Please please re-think this terrible idea, and grit our roads."

After her initial rant, Abigail was shocked to find the situation only get worse.

She was forced to abandon her car at the side of the road and next time she saw it, a lorry had skidded in the icy conditions and smashed into the side of her vehicle.

After conditions continued to cause havoc, highways workers started to place grit around the cars, but still not along the road.

Talking to the News, Abigail added: "They gritted just around the parked cars on the side of the road so that when they want to go, they can get out. But not along any roads.

"It was not the lorry drivers fault at all. It is the council's fault for not gritting the roads in the first place."

Although Somerset did not receive a large amount of snowfall, the reduction in the gritting network meant the impact was much worse than usual.

"There was quite a bit of snow and then due to it not being gritted it turned to slushy ice," Abigail said.

"There were lots of cars that had attempted to go through the village but couldn’t.

"The bin lorry got stuck at the top of the hill, and some cars had slid into the side of other ones. It was mayhem.

"It wasn’t just my car that was hit, it was gridlock at one point."

"It’s never been that bad. Obviously the beast from the east was awful, but it’s never been this bad with the amount of snow we had today."

Somerset County Council hacked 180 miles from its gritting route in October last year, in a bid to save millions of pounds.

The remaining 720 miles of road are still being gritted when it's needed.

The council says changes to its route will save an estimated £120,000, and changes to grit bin provisions will save a further £40,000.

At the time the cuts were announced, Cllr John Woodman, the council's cabinet member for highways, said: "We have to live within our means with greatly reduced funding and that means we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions in order to balance our budget.

"The one affecting our winter service was certainly one of the toughest. We’d rather not be in this position, but we have had to look closely at all spending to see where savings can be found.

"I’d urge road users to check our winter service information on the website which includes the routes which will be gritted in the event of ice and snow together with winter driving advice.

"We’ll still be gritting 720 miles of road, but it’s really important to stress that the vast majority of roads have never been gritted.

"Ice can still form even on gritted roads and our advice remains to always take extra care when on any road in winter and avoid unnecessary travel in periods of extreme weather.

"We also want to make it clear that our established emergency plans for times of snow, such as during last year’s Beast from the East, are not affected by these changes.

"We’ll continue to work alongside the emergency services to maintain access to our communities."