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Winter gritting to be cut on local roads

 
Created on 08/10/2019 @ 15:57
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Salt gritting of local roads this winter will be cut as part of Powys County Council cost-cutting.

Powys County Council's Cabinet members have agreed to a reduction in road gritting that could save £71,000.

Cabinet members passed phase 1 of the Winter Service Review.

The report discussed the service programme for roads in Powys for the 2019/20 winter which will be moving away from the standard set by the Welsh Government in their in their Trunk Road Maintenance Manual (TRMM).

PCC Highways staff will now adopt their own method of evaluating how much salt to use depending on temperature and weather conditions.

The report adds that re-treatment of trunk roads that PCC does on behalf of the  Welsh Government’s North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency will continue, but county roads will not get the second salt treatment.

This move could save PCC £43,000.

At the meeting Cllr James Evans, now  economic development, housing and regulatory services, portfolio holder, said: “What engagement is the service going to have with elected members, town and community councils and people who are going to be affected as the routes they live on are not going to be gritted anymore.

“We have to be very careful as some of those residents expect that level of service now, and we need to manage that going forward as we don’t want adverse publicity for the council around this.”

Cllr Evans felt that “proactive engagement is key” when managing the issue.

Corporate Director for economy and planning, Nigel Brinn, said: “Absolutely there needs to be some discussion.”

Head of Highways, Adrian Jarvis, added: “What is being proposed is a pretty robust review of the (road) hierarchy and will provide substantial evidence.

“People are used to what we treat so communication is vital if they are to understand the changes.”

Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, who is now in charge of the Adult Services portfolio, welcomed the changes to re-treatment of the county roads as an “environmental plus”.

She believed the changes would there would be less salt to damage the hedgerows and flower and wildlife which she described as a “one of the glories of Montgomeryshire and Powys”.

Powys has 5,500 kilometres of road, the second biggest road network in the whole of the UK.

This is made up of 431km of trunk roads, 238km of County (category A) roads, 2,706km of B and C and 2,126km of minor surface roads.

If these are all put together it would stretch to Beijing – the capital city of China.


Photo: A Powys County Council gritter (©2019)

Story by Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service

 

 

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