To consider and endorse, or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste on the proposed decisions to agree the proposed changes to the Winter Service Policy for 2017/18.
Mr Loosemore (Head of Highways Asset Management) and Carol Valentine (Highway Manager for the West) were in attendance for this item.
(1) Mr Loosemore introduced the report which provided an update on the Council’s Winter Service Policy and operational plan that supports it in light of changes within the national guidance and lessons learnt from the previous winter.
(2) In response to the report, Ms Valentine provided the following information:
(i) The allocated budget for the winter service for 2017/18 was £3,328,600.
(ii) During the summer of 2017, work was carried out to further refine and improve the winter service, this work primarily focused on:
(a) Procurement of the Bureau Maintenance (ice prediction service)
(b) Evaluation of the Brine only treatment
(c) Formalising arrangements with Medway Council
(i) Information from weather stations was used to produce the daily road weather forecasts throughout the winter service season. The contract expired in April 2017 and went out to tender. The new contract would be in place with Vaisala for 5 years with an option to extend for an additional 3.
(ii) A planned trial of using a brine solution to treat designated routes was not carried out fully as temperatures were too high during the trial period of January to April 2017. The trial would continue for the 2017/18 winter in order to collect sufficient data for evaluation by the Transport Research Laboratories.
(iii) Medway officers were working with KCC to put in place a formal contractual agreement to ensure both authorities recognised the obligations and service commitments regarding the winter service.
(iv) In the winter of 2017 radio, television and the press were provided with media briefs in advance of the winter season detailing plans for the year.
(v) Any money not used within the winter service would go towards removing weeds on the highway.
(3) Resolved that the proposed decision of the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste to agree the proposed changes to the Winter Service Policy 2017/18 as listed below be endorsed:
· (s.1.3.2) – Medway Council Winter Service on behalf of KCC to
· (s.3.3.2) – Brine only trial to be extended;
· (S.4.4.1) – Bureau Maintenance service for weather stations
contract to be procured; and
· (s.5.5.1) Instruction for precautionary slating of primary routes to
be carried out in line with KCC winter treatment instruction
matrix contained in the winter service plan 2017/18