Cheshire East Council's decision to reduce the number of roads that get gritted each winter, including several of the main routes in Alderley Edge, has been challenged by some members.
The Council's proposal for 103km of previously untreated roads to be added to the highway network as requiring routine winter treatment, whilst 230km of previously treated roads were to be removed.
Roads to be removed 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.
The report had been considered by the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 20th January and Councillor J P Findlow, Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee, presented the Committee's comments on the report to Cabinet, who approved the proposal on Tuesday 4th February.
During the discussion on this matter, it was suggested by some visiting members that the consultation had been inadequate. Some also questioned the basis of the decision to remove gritting from roads within their wards.
A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: "Proposed changes to a number of highways policies and plans, referred to as ' Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure' were considered at four meetings of Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee and were informed by public consultation before being considered by Cabinet on Tuesday 4th February.
"Cabinet approved the recommendations in the report, however this decision has been 'called in' by members and, therefore, the recommendations within the report to Cabinet cannot be implemented until the proposals have been further scrutinised.
"The matter will now be referred to the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee by the council's monitoring officer. It is intended that this will be placed on the agenda in time for the scheduled meeting on 16th March."
The Cabinet also approved proposals 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.
- Revise 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.
- 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.
- Review 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.
Maps showing proposals
Green - road to remain on route.
Orange - road to be removed.
Blue - road to be added.