Cheshire East Council is proposing to reduce the number of roads that get gritted each winter, including several of the main routes in Alderley Edge.
The routes currently treated by the Council date back to the days of Cheshire County Council and at present, the Council treats around 1120km of the 2700km network (41%).
The Council has carried out a risk assessment process, which has identified 995km out of 2700km (37%) highway network as requiring routine winter treatment.
As a result, the proposal to be considered by the Cabinet on Tuesday, 4th February is for 103km of previously untreated roads to be added to the network. 892 km of previously treated roads remaining on the network and 230km of previously treated roads removed from the treated network.
Roads recommended for removal are in Handforth, Lacey Green, Wilmslow Park and Morley Green along with Chorley Hall Lane, Mottram Road, Heyes Lane and Trafford Road in Alderley Edge. Whilst there are roads added to the route in the town centre, Pownall Park, Handforth and Styal.
Where roads are removed from the treated network, a grit bin risk assessment will be undertaken to ascertain if a grit bin is required.
Considering the risks of implementing these changes the report states "The removal of some roads from the winter treatment network could increase the risk of accidents on the network; however, the risk assessment process adopted should mean this is a manageable risk.
"The removal of some of the rural roads may make access to some rural businesses and communities difficult during snow and icing conditions; however, the proposed assessment of the removed roads for a grit bin could help to mitigate this."
The Council also has cross boundary agreements where roads in other council's areas are treated in return for the treatment of roads in Cheshire East to deliver route efficiencies. The Council presently treats 58km of other councils' roads with 19km of the CEC network treated in return. These cross boundary routes will be reviewed and dialog has begun with the neighbouring authorities to discuss changes.
Cheshire East is also proposing to amend the current frequency of safety inspections so that 843km of the most heavily trafficked roads in the Borough receive an increase in inspection frequency and 516km of lesser used routes receiving a lower inspection frequency. Under the proposals, the roads considered most important would receive inspections every month, whereas under the existing arrangements this is undertaken every two months.
Another proposal being considered is revising the response times for the repair of defects. The current code of practice, aims to address the most dangerous actionable defects within 1.5 hours and less dangerous actionable defects within 5 days. The proposal is to address emergency defects in 1 hour during the working day and 1.5 hours outside of working hours; however, defects that pose a lesser risk to the traveling public will be repaired between 2 and 20 working days from the point of identification by an inspector.
Additionally the Council is proposing to change the approach to road defects from intervention levels to investigatory levels. Under the current approach defects are actioned at the specific intervention level: 50mm for potholes, 100mm for carriageway edge deterioration, 25mm cycle-path or footpath defect and 50mm for cycle lane defects. Under the proposed approach defects are risk assessed at the investigatory level to determine the risk they pose to the public: 40mm for potholes, 80mm for carriageway edge deterioration, 20mm cycle-path or footpath defect and 20mm for cycle lane defects.
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Maps showing proposals
Green - road to remain on route.
Orange - road to be removed.
Blue - road to be added.