Issue details

17/00085 - Winter Service Policy 2017/18

Kent County Council is under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice. It is recognised that the winter service is essential in aiding the safe movement of highway users, maintaining communications, reducing delays and enabling everyday life to continue.  It is very important to both road safety and the local economy.  The winter service that the County Council provides is believed to be sufficient so far as is reasonably practical to discharge the duty imposed by the legislation. The winter service policy sets out how Highway Operations discharges its duties.


Members to decide to agree the updated winter service policy which will include an update on the procurement of the Winter Bureau and Weather Station Maintenance Service contract and the results of the brine treatment trial carried out during the last winter season.


Winter service is essential to keep Kent moving for social and economic development reasons. It also contributes towards Kent residents having a good quality of life in all weathers through local district winter plans, the provision of salt bins and the communication strategy that complements the winter service policy.



Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 12/09/2017

Decision due: Not before 11th Oct 2017 by Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste

Lead director: Roger Wilkin

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Carol Valentine, Highway Manager Tel: 03000 413843 Email: Tel: 07917 454165.


No formal consultation required for this policy. Local district winter plans go to Joint Transportation Board for discussion.


The changes were considered and endorsed by the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 21 September 2017.


Financial implications: The allocated budget for winter service for 2016/17 is £3,328,600, £1,277,071 of this budget is allocated for 66 pre-cautionary salting runs on the primary network. £20,000 is allocated for the purchase of additional salt bins. The balance of the budget is for plant, equipment, salt and other resources necessary to deliver the service, including the weather forecast service. This sum does not include an allowance for a snow emergency. In the event of a prolonged period(s) of snow the cost to KCC could rise significantly.

Legal implications: The statutory basis for Winter Service in England and Wales is Section 41(1A) of the Highways Act 1980, modified on 31st October 2003 by Section 111 of the Railways and Transport Act 2003.

Equalities implications: The Winter Service policy prioritises ice and snow clearance on the major roads in the County to enable as many people as possible to continue to go about their daily business. Additionally local winter service plans have been developed for more rural areas utilising local farmers to clear snow when necessary. Within these plans there is provision for clearing areas that are used by vulnerable people including the elderly and young people. Local communities, principally parish councils, are also provided with a salt/sand mix for use in their area during snow days.


Agenda items