Villagers claiming they were trapped in their homes by the recent snow are campaigning to have their roads gritted when the next cold snap hits.

People living in High Beech say they were unable to get out by car or on foot because of the county council’s decision not to treat their rural forest roads towards the end of last month.

Norma Green, 82, of Wellington Hill, said: “I had enforced imprisonment for several days and when I did get out, I found that most of my neighbours were in the same position.

“I don’t need some of the other services the county council provides – all I want is highways services and I think it’s about time the county council considered people in rural areas.”

She has gathered signatures on a petition from people living in almost every street in the village, including Rats Lane, Beech Hill Gardens, Forest Close and Pynest Green Lane.

The petition states that the county council should grit roads through the forest, which it used to, give the work to a farmer or private company or give residents a tax rebate so they can pay for the roads to be cleared themselves.

Avey Lane, which links the village to Epping New Road and the A112 Sewardstone Road, is salted by the council, but Mrs Green said she and her neighbours could not make it as far as the main road.

Adam Moon, 29, a customer assistant at High Beech Golf Course in Wellington Hill, said: “I usually get picked up from work, but my family wouldn’t come down because it was so bad.

“If you want to get to Waltham Abbey, you have to go down that way.

“It’s dangerous and even with a four-wheel-drive, you’re going to slip and slide, so I would say it’s quite important that it’s done.”