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Powys roads winter service proposals to be considered

PROPOSALS to review the way Powys roads are serviced during the winter months will be considered by Powys County Council’s Cabinet at next week’s meeting (March 28, 2023).

The road network within Powys stretches more than 5,500 km and is made up of county roads (maintained and managed by Powys County council) and trunk roads (maintained and managed by North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency (NMWTRA) on behalf of Welsh Government).

“Historically, how these roads have been serviced and maintained during the winter months has evolved at a local level.” Explains Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys.

“Although the rationale behind the current winter service programme has been well intentioned, the time is right for this to be reviewed against national code of practices and the current, modern-day needs of our county.”

Following the agreement of cabinet back in October 2019, it was decided that the current winter service programme would be reviewed, and new proposals brought back to cabinet for consideration.

Working with the guidance from the National Winter Service Research Group (NWSRG) and the Well-managed Highway Infrastructure: A Code of Practice, it is proposed to categorise all Powys roads using a risk and evidence-based approach. In layman’s terms this means we will consider a number of factors for each road, including traffic volume, public transport links, amenities and essential services such as schools, medical centres and the location of emergency services.

Once the proposed category for each road is confirmed, we can apply these in practical terms, developing a proposed set of winter service routes for the whole county which will have been created using an open, consistent and fair approach that will provide an equitable service for all of Powys.

Cllr Charlton continued: “If cabinet agree with the proposals, our next step is to allow Powys people a chance to have their say on how the road categorisation process works through an online public engagement exercise.

“This will make sure we are meeting the expectations of the communities and applying the final criteria fairly across the whole county.”

More details of the cabinet’s decision on the proposals and the public engagement exercise will be available soon.

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