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:
· updates the current policy;
· confirms the legislative requirements of providing such a service; and
· 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:
· 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
· 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.
· 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
“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.”