Issue - meetings

Review of Winter Maintenance

Meeting: 16/09/2015 - Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Expired 13/07/20 (Item 27)

27 Review of Winter Maintenance pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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a)         That the Committee recommends approval of the revised Winter Maintenance Policy and its procedures for delivering the Winter Maintenance Service to Cabinet;


(b)       That the removal of two rural gritting routes, currently operated by Agricultural contractors, that do not meet the criteria required within the Priority 1 gritting routes be noted; and


(c)        That the Committee notes the two Unclassified roads which have historically been treated by Denbighshire County Council and have been removed from their Priority 1 gritting routes, will not receive precautionary gritting in future as they do not meet Flintshire’s Priority 1 gritting route criteria. 



The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced a report to seek the Committee’s recommendation to Cabinet for approval of the revised Winter Maintenance Policy for use by the Council as Highway Authority. 


The Chief Officer provided background information and referred to the key considerations detailed in the report concerning the updates and changes to the current Winter Maintenance Policy, the legislative requirements of providing such a service, budget allocation and actual expenditure, changes to the Council’s salting routes, and the actions taken by Streetscene and Transportation portfolio to support the Winter Maintenance Service.


Members were invited to raise questions.


Councillor Carolyn Thomas raised a number of concerns relating to gritting and operational practices in rural areas and expressed the view that there was a lack of consistency.  She asked if a cost comparison was undertaken to determine the cost of providing a gritting service and the cost of providing salt for use by pedestrians and motorists in rural isolated areas.  The Chief Officer responded to the comments and queries raised and referred to the risk assessment approach which was undertaken on the salting of roads.  He agreed to provide Councillor Thomas with information on the cost comparisons of salt heaps and gritting.


Councillor Colin Legg congratulated the Chief Officer and his team on the Winter Maintenance service provided which ensured safe passage for Flintshire residents in the event of severe weather.  He also praised the work undertaken by frontline gritting vehicles in the face of extreme weather conditions to ensure effective service.  The Chief Officer thanked Councillor Legg for his comments and agreed to pass them on to his team.  The Committee endorsed the sentiments expressed by Councillor Legg.


In response to the comments made by Councillor Legg concerning weather forecasts the Chief Officer explained that the Authority received daily weather forecasts specific to Flintshire throughout the winter period.  The forecasts were provided by MeteoGroup which was a private weather forecasting organisation which had been used successfully by the Authority for a number of years.


In response to the further comments by Councillor Legg on vehicles accessing the Halkyn Depot site, the Chief Officer said he would look into why vehicles were continuing to access the site.


Councillor Clive Carver asked that if the level of service for County Roads was determined by elected Members could third party claims be made against Members.  The Chief Officer referred to the Highways Act 1980 which places a statutory duty on the Highway Authority and advised that the legislation did not impose an absolute duty but rather involves a balance between the degree of risk and the steps necessary to eliminate the risk.  In order to provide a statutory defence the Council had produced a County Policy on winter maintenance which was reviewed on a regular basis.    


Councillor Mike Peers referred to the revised Winter Maintenance Policy document which was appended to the report and referred to section 3.2.3 on Priority 2 routes.  He asked if prioritisation could be provided within the Priority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27