Achievements highlighted in annual highways report

22 Mar 2013 @ 4.26 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

A review of City of York Council’s highways maintenance team highlighting their achievements and proposed improvements to the service in 2013/14 have been outlined in a report, which is public from today.

Latest Department of Transport figures for 2011/12 confirms the condition of York’s principal road network is the best in the Yorkshire and Humberside region – placing the council in the top quartile results compared to other authorities in England.

The council’s capital funding for highways in 2013/14 remains the same as last year at £750k. However, as this is now the fourth consecutive year of severe winter conditions, with extreme freezing temperatures that will accelerate the deterioration of road surfaces, this has triggered additional central government funding for repairs over a two year period.

York has successfully received £1,757k government funding with a further £318k funding to repair potholes in 2013/14 and £173k in 2014/15.

Funding will be used on damaged roads and potholes which were caused by recent flooding, which has had a detrimental effect on the condition of the highway.

York experienced three separate incidents of flooding in 2012/13 and as a result the council pumped £165k into high priority drainage works to areas worst affected and will allocate £200k in 2013/14. This will enable this maintenance of drainage to continue, but also assist in the management of surface water flood risk (as recommended in the Surface Water Management Plan approved by Cabinet on 4 December).

Highways inspections are routinely carried out and the council received the lowest number of third party public liability claims in eleven years, demonstrating the effectiveness of this service.

Cllr David Levene, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “The latest Department for Transport figures show the condition of City of York Council’s principal road network to be the best in the Yorkshire and the Humber region, putting us in the top quartile results compared to other authorities in England.

“We know more needs to be done to improve our roads and we’re investing three quarters of a million pounds a year into resurfacing and highways repairs.”

It’s not just York’s highways which are meeting good standards; the council was one of 50 English council’s to receive a national Gold Award for its street gazetteer (an annual road condition survey logged onto a national computer database).

Although the city hasn’t experienced prolonged wintery conditions similar to the previous two years, 83 treatments were carried out during the gritting season from November 2012 (to-date February). The annual average number of treatments is 65.

During the annual review of the service various alternative methods of footway and cycleway treatments were explored, including mechanical methods of snow removal. Four mini tractors were trialled last winter have proved to be extremely effective both in terms of speed of treatment and savings on manual labour and have now been added to the winter maintenance fleet.

The highway service also includes grass and tree maintenance and City of York won gold in the Yorkshire in Bloom 2012 competition, receiving positive comments about the standard of the city’s grass verge maintenance. One quarter of the highway trees were inspected for safety as they are checked on a four yearly cycle.

A report was taken to a meeting on 21 March. For more details go here.

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