AN ELDERLY Greenock couple say they are left housebound during cold weather as the pathway leading to their front door always turns into an ice skating rink.

William Lang, 79, and his wife Margaret, 77, who uses a wheelchair, have stayed at their home in Leven Road since the 90s and for a number of years they have been dreading winter and being stuck at home.

There is a grass verge outside the property leading up to the main road and a stream of water, possibly from a burst pipe or drain, runs from the verge onto the path.

Whenever the temperature falls to zero the ice soon forms, making the path impassable for the senior citizens.

The couple's grandson Andrew Barron, 28, says council officials have refused to help.

He said: “The path leading to the house becomes thick with ice.

"We have contacted the council on multiple occasions looking for a grit bin to be put there so we could do it ourselves in the hope of making it safer.

“But they say they can’t put a grit bin here because it is on the grit route.

"But that’s the road above - they are down the lane and get nothing.

“I’m worried someone will be hurt before something is done.”

Margaret uses a wheelchair when out and about and was unable to leave her house during last week's cold snap.

William has already slipped and fallen twice on the ice this year.

He told the Tele: “It is like this every year.

"Because the path goes downhill, the whole of it is covered in thick ice."

Andrew’s partner Lauren McCurdy, 27, said: “We get here when we can and bring shopping but we have children too and worry about them..

"It puts people off visiting.

"William and Margaret are not very stable on their feet and it's dangerous,

“Even taking the bins out is dangerous.

“We just want a grit bin to make it safer, we are happy to do it ourselves.

"We have contacted the council with no luck, we just don’t know what else to do.”

Mr and Mrs Lang's neighbour Joan Sorrie, 53, is also unhappy.

She said: “I have lived here for 25 years and last week was the worst the ice has been,.

"We have complained but not managed to get anywhere.”

Despite the residents' pleas, Inverclyde Council says it is unable to help as Leven Road is on the gritting route.

They said: “We are very sorry to hear that this family is having trouble using the pavement in icy weather.

“Clearing pavements is a huge job.

"There are 280 miles of pavements in Inverclyde - that would take you from here to Edinburgh Airport and back, twice.

"We just don’t have the resources to clear them all, so we have to prioritise the ones we do clear.

"It’s the same with grit bins.

"We already have over 400 grit bins around the area and we keep getting requests for more.

“This means we also have to prioritise where we put new ones, so they do the most good for the most people.

"New bins have to go in places where there is a steep hill or a bad bend and they should serve several properties.

“We don’t site bins on existing gritting routes.

"Leven Road is on the priority gritting route so it isn’t eligible for a bin.

"However, the public can collect grit free from the council’s roads depot in Pottery Street.”