Representatives from the Highways Maintenance team will give a brief presentation on their services.
Richard White and Andy Binner gave an overview of the responsibilities of the highways maintenance team and their response to the recent spell of bad weather. The following points were noted:
4.1 The Highways Maintenance team is responsible for carriageway resurfacing, footway reconstruction, street lighting, gully cleaning, winter maintenance, pest control, flooding/warping, verge maintenance, highways trees, road lining and anti skid and street signs.
4.2 This year has seen the worst winter on record for 30 years with 20 days of snow and ice and temperatures falling as low as –10 at times.
4.3 The gritting wagons went out 90 times on the primary network putting down a total of 4,200 tonnes of salt. This is double the amount normally put down throughout the whole winter season. An overview of the winter maintenance policy is on the City of York Council website. The priority area’s in terms of gritting is known as the ‘primary network’ and includes all the main arteries in and out of the city, all major bus routes and 15km of footpaths which includes all city centre footpaths and those around shopping centres and around old peoples homes. Gritting is carried out on a ‘secondary network’ if conditions require it but is dependent on budgets and resources. To date the winter maintenance budget for this financial year is overspent by £400,000.
4.4 It was stressed the council do not have the resources to grit every street and footpath in the city. Requests from residents are looked at on a case by case basis but there is no guarantee it will be done.
4.5 The winter maintenance policy is being reviewed and residents’ comments are welcomed.
4.6 The recent bad weather has highlighted a number of key issues to be addressed in the review; lack of salt bins, lack of clearing of footpaths, secondary routes and cycle paths and the repair of pot holes.
4.7 Following the recent bad weather pot holes are appearing all over the roads. The biggest potholes and those on high speed roads are being prioritised as they are the ones most likely to cause an accident. All the potholes will be repaired in due course and residents were encouraged to report them on (01904) 551551.
4.8 Richard and Andrew registered their thanks to the gritting staff who worked tirelessly for 20 days to keep the city moving.
The following comments and questions were noted:
a) The main pavement running through New Earswick was not gritted and it was treacherous.
Response was given that it is impossible for the council to grit every pavement in the city. This will be looked at under the winter maintenance review.
b) Where do home owners stand on clearing the footpaths outside their properties?
Response was given that this is difficult to answer because the law on this has never been tested. However, as long as you are making a reasonable and genuine effort to clear the footpath, it is unlikely that anyone could sue you.
c) I understand that your priority was to keep the main network moving but my cul-de-sac was treacherous and it was very difficult to get about.
Response was given that no false promises can be made, the council will never be in a position to grit every single road. The team will be looking at the provision of salt bins during the review.
d) Will you have the funds and resources available to repair the roads which are rapidly deteriorating after the bad weather?
Response was given that the team are endeavouring to get the network back up to standard as soon as possible. The council have put an application into a government fund for a grant to help repair the roads after extreme weather conditions.
e) Cyclists and motorcyclists are very vulnerable riding on roads with potholes.
Response was given that the team are prioritising the repair of pot holes on high speed and main network roads.
f) The potholes around utility trenches are particularly bad.
Response was given that the team are working closely with the street work co-ordinators to try to get them to do a better job of patching up the roads. There has been a number of occasions where they have been asked to come back because they have not done a proper job.
g) How do you make the decision whether to patch the road up or resurface it? The junction between Highthorn Road and Anthea Drive is particularly bad.
Response was given that initially all pot holes will be patched up. In June all roads in the city are surveyed and graded and then this information is used to determine which roads need resurfacing a priority. The team will have a look at this particular location. Action