A public engagement exercise into the next stage of the Powys roads winter service review has now come to an end.
The six-week survey asked the people of Powys, partner organisations, local members and town and community councils to have a say in the review process of how Powys roads are categorised and serviced during the winter months.
“We would like to thank all the participants who have taken the time to contribute to the engagement exercise.” Says Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys.
“The feedback gathered will ensure that wherever possible we can meet the expectations of the communities, prioritising roads correctly and applying the final road categorisations fairly across the whole county. We will now be able to accurately produce equitable winter service routes for the whole county, which will be taken back to cabinet for final approval.
“The Powys roads winter service review is not a money saving exercise, although it is important to remember that every service area in the council is having to make budget savings and be prudent with expenditure. The main purpose of this report is to ensure we have winter service routes created using an open, consistent and fair approach that will provide an equitable service for the whole county.
“We feel as though it is also important to point out, in response to recent reports, the actual costs of servicing our 5,500 km road network during the winter months can vary enormously from year to year depending on the weather, regardless of budget.
“For instance, in the extreme winter of 2017/18 we saw significant snow fall for a prolonged period of time across the whole of the county. As a result, we had exceptionally high expenditure for the additional fuel costs for gritting, operational staff and extra contractors working many additional hours, along with the cost of applying 16,666 tonnes of salt.
“In contrast, in 2021/22, the winter months were less severe with more manageable weather conditions and minimal snowfall. Obviously, as a result, the costs for fuel, workforce and salt (we only needed to apply 7,999 tonnes, less than half of what was needed in 2017/18) was far less.
“When it comes to servicing our roads during the winter, the actual expenditure costs will always be dependent on the weather conditions.”