Representatives from CYC Highways Maintenance team will give a brief presentation on their services.
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:
5.1 The Highways maintenance teams remit covers carriage resurfacing, footway reconstruction, street lighting, gully cleaning, pest control, flooding and warping, verge maintenance, highways trees, street signs, road lining and anti-skid surfacing and winter maintenance.
5.2 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.
5.3 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. The ‘priority’ area for gritting or ‘primary network’ 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 old peoples homes. Gritting is carried out on a ‘secondary network’ if conditions require it but this is dependent on budget and resources. To date the winter maintenance budget for this financial year is overspent by £400,000. An overview of the winter maintenance policy is available on the City of York Council’s website.
5.4 It was stressed that unfortunately the council do not have the resources to grit every road and footpath in the city. Requests from residents are looked at on a case by case basis.
5.5 The winter maintenance policy is being reviewed and residents’ comments are welcomed. The recent bad weather had 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.
5.6 Following the bad weather pot holes are appearing all over the roads. The biggest potholes and those on high speed roads are being prioritised with the rest being done as soon as possible. Residents are encouraged to report potholes on (01904) 551551.
5.7 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) Is the grit you put down on the road a mixture of salt and sand?
Response was given that yes a mixture is used on recommendation from the government. A 3:1 salt/sand mix is used on high speed roads and a 1:1 mix on 30mph roads.
b) The communication from the council regarding the levels of salt in stock was not very good.
Response was given that residents were kept up to date through channels such as The Press and local radio stations. Cllr John Galvin added that The Press did an excellent job of reporting.
c) Would it be possible to stock pile salt throughout the year to avoid running short in the future?
Response was given that this will be looked at under the review.
d) In general, the council did an excellent job of keeping the roads in Wheldrake clear. The only problem we had was getting the salt bins replenished.
Response was given that salt bins were replenished within 48 hours of the request being made.
e) Are there any insurance issues surrounding home owners clearing footpaths outside their properties?
Response was given that this is difficult to answer because there has never been a case to test the law. However, as long as you are making a reasonable and genuine effort to clear the footpath it is unlikely that anyone could sue you.