Proposals to review the way Powys roads are serviced during the winter months were considered and agreed by Powys County Council’s Cabinet this week.
The road network within Powys stretches more than 5,500 km and is made up of county roads (maintained and managed by Powys County council) and trunk roads (maintained and managed by North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency (NMWTRA) on behalf of Welsh Government).
“Historically, how these roads have been serviced and maintained during the winter months has evolved at a local level,” said Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys.
“Although the rationale behind the current winter service programme had been well intentioned, the time is right for this to be reviewed against national code of practices and the current, modern-day needs of our county.”
Following the agreement of cabinet back in October 2019, it was decided that the current winter service programme would be reviewed, and new proposals bought back to cabinet for consideration.
Working with the guidance from the National Winter Service Research Group (NWSRG) and the Well-managed Highway Infrastructure: A Code of Practice, it was proposed to categorise all Powys roads using a risk and evidence-based approach. In layman’s terms this means we will consider a number of factors for each road, including traffic volume, public transport links, amenities and essential services such as schools, medical centres and the location of emergency services.
Once the proposed category for each road is confirmed, we can apply these in practical terms, developing a proposed set of winter service routes for the whole county which will have been created using an open, consistent and fair approach that will provide an equitable service for all of Powys.
Cllr Charlton continued: “After careful consideration, cabinet have agreed the proposals for reviewing the county’s winter service of roads. The next step is for us to make sure Powys people, local members and our partner organisations have a chance to have their say on how the road categorisation process is applied.
“Through an online public engagement exercise, we will share the list of criteria which help categorise each road, such as amenities, essential and emergency services, and ask participants to help rank these in order of priority when it comes to winter servicing.
“This will ensure that wherever possible we are meeting the expectations of the communities and applying the final categorisations fairly across the whole county.
“It is important to remember that we are simply unable to service, or treat, all 5,500kms of roads at the same level throughout the winter months. This winter service review will help us prioritise roads and routes fairly across Powys, and we would like to thank in advance all the participants who will be contributing to the online engagement exercise. As always, your feedback will be invaluable, diolch.”