Winter Maintenance Service
The Winter Maintenance Service is recognised as one of the most important functions that the Council provides and it is fundamental in providing safe and reliable access on the highway network during October to April each year. In meeting this duty contingency plans are in place for dealing promptly and effectively with unplanned events, such as unforeseen weather conditions.
On Tuesday, 26 September, the Council's Cabinet will consider a report seeking Cabinet approval of a revised Winter Maintenance Policy that:
Â· updates the current policy;
Â· confirms the legislative requirements of providing such a service; and
Â· confirms the budget allocation and actual expenditure incurred by the Council in complying with the existing policy and delivering the service over the past 4 financial years.
The review concluded that the current system meets the risks presented during periods of adverse weather and is effective in deploying the necessary resources, whilst limiting the impact of the disruption to other service areas and wider service users. Some changes were necessary to operating arrangements for the winter service including:
Â· a brand new gritting fleet for the 2017/18 season fitted with the Schmidt Autologic software which allows drivers to concentrate solely on the road whilst ensuring the right amount of salt is spread
Â· Operational drivers will be rostered to be on-call throughout the season to respond to winter conditions; on-call highways response teams will be available to supplement these teams if necessary.
Â· Duty Officers will be rostered throughout the winter period to monitor weather forecasts and decide on the appropriate preventative action.
The report also outlines the County's response to other adverse weather events such as flooding and high winds and seeks approval of the regional Sand Bag Distribution Policy which will be activated during periods of heavy rainfall or other flooding events.
Councillor Carolyn Thomas, Cabinet Member for Streetscene, said;
"In preparing the revised Winter Maintenance Policy we took into account local circumstances and concerns about the service that might require a change to working practices. We also reviewed our current supply chain, including the provision of salt stocks, to ensure it is effective and sufficient to support the service.
"Although we do have a limited winter maintenance budget for the day-to-today running of the service, should we experience sustained periods of bad weather further funding and resources will be made available to help keep highways network open and our communities safe."