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Some roads face gritting cut this winter

Created on 08/10/2019 @ 20:20
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Powys County Council has made the controversial decision to cut back on the amount of gritting it carries out this winter, hoping that it will save just £71,000.

The council has reviewed its winter gritting policy, with PCC Highways staff adopting their own method of evaluating how much salt to use depending on temperature and weather conditions.

The report states that re-treatment of trunk roads that PCC does on behalf of the Welsh Government’s North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency will continue, but county roads will not get the second salt treatment.

Cllr James Evans, now economic development, housing and regulatory services, portfolio holder, said: “What engagement is the service going to have with elected members, town and community councils and people who are going to be affected as the routes they live on are not going to be gritted anymore?

“We have to be very careful as some of those residents expect that level of service now, and we need to manage that going forward as we don’t want adverse publicity for the council around this.”

Cllr Evans felt that “proactive engagement is key” when managing the issue.

Corporate Director for economy and planning, Nigel Brinn, said: “Absolutely there needs to be some discussion.”

Head of Highways, Adrian Jarvis, added: “What is being proposed is a pretty robust review of the (road) hierarchy and will provide substantial evidence. People are used to what we treat so communication is vital if they are to understand the changes.”

Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, who is now in charge of the Adult Services portfolio, welcomed the changes to re-treatment of the county roads as an “environmental plus”.

She believed the changes would mean less salt to damage the hedgerows and flower and wildlife which she described as a “one of the glories of Montgomeryshire and Powys”.

Powys has 5,500 kilometres of road, the second biggest road network in the whole of the UK.

This is made up of 431km of trunk roads, 238km of County (category A) roads, 2,706km of B and C and 2,126km of minor surface roads.

If these are all put together it would stretch to Beijing – the capital city of China.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter  

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