To consider a report on the implementation of the revised policy for the Winter gritting route network in the borough.
Consideration was given to a report updating the Committee on the implementation of the revised policy for the Winter gritting route network in the borough.
Councillor M Sewart moved an amendment to the substantive motion which was to include a further recommendation that bullet point one, paragraph 6.22 of the report be included with the addition of the words ‘in consultation with Ward Councillors’. Councillor C Browne seconded the amendment with the proviso that the five bullet points listed under paragraph 6.22 of the report, including the addition of the words ‘in consultation with Ward Councillors’ form part of the final recommendation.
Members made the following comments:-
· Welcomed the recommendation to develop a network hierarchy;
· Any future review should consider the fact that the current Winter had been mild and that any future policy decisions should not be based on an abnormal Winter season;
· The data was not indicative of all the concerns residents were raising in terms of what was happening on the roads within their areas;
· Whilst it was important to adhere to the national guidelines as far as possible, it was recognised there was potential for interpretation;
· Rural communities had been impacted and this fact should not be overlooked;
· Further context was requested on the figures at 6.12 of the report (which set out how many treatments had been undertaken and on what days the treatments had been carried out) compared to the same period over the last three years by way of comparison;
· Member involvement would be key in terms of gathering and communicating evidence to a centrally agreed deposit.
· Initially as part of any meaningful review, focus should be on the roads that scored highly but not highly enough to meet the criteria to be included within the Winter gritting programme.
Councillor S Akers Smith asked a question in respect of how much of the budget had been spent on treatment days. Members were advised that a written response to this question would be circulated after the meeting.
1.That implementation of the new Winter gritting routes continued to be carefully monitored by the Highways and Transport Committee over the remainder of the Winter season to be carried out in with consultation with Ward Councillors.
2.That a report be presented to a future Highways and Transport Committee which responded to the points raised by the Committee as outlined above and which provided detailed analysis of the impacts of the new routes with consideration being given if any changes would be required to the new policy.
3.That a review would re-score any roads on which there had been significant representations and consideration should be given whether they be included in the gritting programme if they met the criteria after re-scoring.
4.That a review would consider evidence relating to accidents on the highway network during icy conditions to assess any implications of the recent change.
5.That a review would consider whether there should be minor amendments to the scoring matrix in the light of the winter experience.
6.That a review would present the details of a potential local “top up” scheme and recommend whether this should be taken forward.