VOTE: Should the council have taken urgent action to grit rural roads during the sudden icy spell?

Icy roads were responsible for a spate of car crashes near Upwaltham when cold weather struck on Sunday night.

Two cars skidded off the road and smashed into walls, while another overturned into a ditch on the A285 after losing control on the slippery road.

Luckily no drivers were seriously hurt in the trio of accidents, which sparked questions over whether the roads had been properly gritted.

One motorist, a 36-year-old man, had to be cut out of his car after hitting a flint wall in Upwaltham early on Monday morning.

Firefighters from Chichester and Petworth worked for half an hour to free him after the accident at 5.20am before he was taken to hospital with neck injuries.

A female driver escaped with minor injuries after a second incident just yards from the same spot: her car rolled into a ditch after sliding on ice at 6.45am. She was treated at the scene by paramedics.

And staff arriving for work at Seaford College in East Lavington were greeted with the sight of a car which had come off the road and slammed into a wall near the entrance.

Greg Burt, head of estates and operations at the school, said skid marks were visible on the road from where the driver had lost control but the identity of the Ford Ka’s owner remained a mystery as the Observer went to press.

“Luckily they must have lost most of the speed before it hit the wall,” he said, adding that the school’s mile-long driveway from Beechwood Lane had been covered in patches of black ice that morning.

“When it’s that frosty you expect those driving conditions and drive accordingly.”

A spokesman from West Sussex County Council, which is responsible for the area’s highways, confirmed the roads in the area had been gritted at the weekend by one of its fleet of trucks.

“The A285 at Upwaltham and Lavington Park in Petworth were gritted at 4.43pm and 4.48pm respectively on Sunday, January 15,” he said.