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Agenda item

Maintenance Services and the Winter Maintenance Policy


Richard White Assistant Director, Neighbourhood Services and Andy Binner Acting Head of Infrastructure, gave a presentation on maintenance services as provided by the City of York Council.  Richard covered the history of the department and the main components of the service.


The Winter Maintenance Policy was also discussed.  Richard stated that it was available online in summary form with full versions available at libraries.  He stated during the recent bad weather spell that 44% of the road network was gritted which compares favourably with other councils and puts York in the upper quartile.  However only 2% of footpaths were gritted and certain criteria applied as to which ones took priority.  He stated that it would be impossible to clear a large percentage of footpaths as the Council does not have the resources to do this in manpower alone.


Richard stated that the Winter Policy, which had been effective for the last fifteen years, was being reviewed in light of the latest extreme weather, to deal with such severe events.  He encouraged residents to view the policy and phone in their comments to York 551 551 or leave comments online at on the Council website.  He emphasised the need to be realistic when making comments and to consider manpower and financial constraints.


He then went on to cover topics which had been raised so far in the consultation.

  • Salt Bins – Two years ago a review of use was undertaken and the number of salt bins was reduced after it was found that 60% were hardly used.  There may be a move to bags which cost around £5 as opposed to bins which cost £150.
  • Gritting footpaths – Currently reviewing criteria for clearance but logistically impossible to do a large number.
  • Secondary Routes – majority not gritted to protect dwindling salt supplies, prioritisation was necessary.
  • Cycle paths – Grit has to be trafficked in to allow it to be effective, cycles do not achieve this, therefore gritting would be ineffective.
  • Pot holes – Richard emphasised the need to report issues, extra resources had been supplied to deal with emergencies.  So far there had been a 50-60% increase in reporting.


Richard praised the work done by the gritting teams who worked continually all through the bad weather including Christmas and New Years Day.


Q – Do you stop at the boundary when gritting?

A – (Andy Binner) We have mutual arrangements with partners on the boundaries but as a general rule yes.


Q – Which bus routes get gritted?

A – Frequent routes, these would be buses which ran at least every 20 minutes.


Q – There is debris such as grit etc, on the side of roads which makes cycling difficult, why has it been left?

A (Richard White) – A road sweeper would usually clear this up but we are holding back as it is useful to have this on the road in case of further snow falls.  Once we are sure of no more snowfall then we will clear it off.


How are potholes being prioritised?

A (Andy Binner) – Potholes on high speed roads are being done first.


Councillor Simpson Laing raised an issue around some of the pothole repairs.  Andy Binner stated that sometimes the tarmac dries out on the van and if reported they will be looked at.  He asked everyone to report issues to York 551551 or email in on the Council website.


Q – Why do we spend council money on traffic humps when they are needed to repair roads?

A  (Andy Binner) – Maintenance of roads budget does not cover humps

A (Councillor Simpson–Laing) Central government fund traffic calming measures and the money can only be used for this purpose.  Humps are very effective at reducing road accidents and speeding. 


Q – Why do we spend money repairing humps then?

A (Richard White) – We are obliged to repairs highways.


Q – Why has Jute Road been taken off the gritting rota as it used to be done?

A (Richard White) Nothing has been taken off, it should be done if it always has.


Q – On Sovereign Park there used to be a road sweeper but it has not been round for ages?

A (Richard White) We will feed that back.


Q – Why are the bollards on Borough bridge road at the junction going into Sovereign Park not lite?

A (Andy Binner) – Legislation currently being discussed which may affect whether bollards are lighted, once this is clarified we will take the appropriate action. 


Q – Why has the anti climb paint on the lamp posts and the cutting of hedges as promised in the snicket off Jute Road not been done?

A – (Richard White) We have noted that and will feedback.








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