WELSH Government data shows that amount of money spent on gritting Powys roads in winter has dropped by over £1.2 million since 2017.
In March, the Powys Liberal Democrat/Labour cabinet agreed the second phase of the winter service review which will eventually see the routes prioritised.
An online consultation on the proposals started on April 3 and is due to close next Sunday, May 14.
Called by the council a “public engagement exercise” the survey asks participants to rank locations in priority for gritting from one to 20.
These are routes near the location of schools, childcare facilities, hospitals, medical centres, care homes, sheltered housing, emergency services bases, car parks, bus, and railway stations.
This will then feed into the winter service review.
A financial analysis of the proposals will only be available once the new route maps have been drafted.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the council in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the annual spend since 2017 on the it’s road winter service programme ie gritting the roads.
The council did not directly answer the question but pointed out that the figures are available on the Welsh Government’s StatsWales website.
These figures show that the winter service funding has dropped from £2.726 million in 2017/2018 to £1.492 million for 2021/2022.
Portfolio holder for highways and transport, Cllr Jackie Charlton said: “The gritting routes in Powys have not been reviewed for over 20 years.
“It’s important to emphasise that this review is based on delivering best practice, it’s time to make gritting equitable across our roads.”
Cllr Charlton said: “Once the hierarchy has been established, maps will be allocated and there will be that opportunity to go to scrutiny with that hierarchy and the maps to assess that and bring back to cabinet.”
“This review will help us prioritise roads and routes fairly across Powys.”
The first phase of the winter service review was agreed back in October 2019 by the former Independent/Conservative administration and was criticised by councillors for potentially causing more danger on Powys roads as well as harming the economy.
The changes made at the time also saved the council £71,000.
To have your say visit https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/14180/Powys-roads-winter-service-review-agreed-by-cabinet