Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 2 November 2016.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Shadow Spokesperson (Housing), Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussion they have had with local authorities and the emergency services to ensure that roads in England and Wales are kept open in the event of poor winter weather in 2016–17.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport works closely with the transport sector, including local highway authorities, to prepare for the winter season 2016/17.

All key transport operators, including local authorities, train operating companies, Highways England, Network Rail and airports, have contingency plans in place to deal with winter weather that may be encountered.

The Department for Transport continues to liaise with salt producers and regularly updates the salt stock holdings being held across the country. The Government has retained an emergency salt stockpile of around 383,000 tonnes for this winter season. In addition both Highways England and local highways authorities have winter service vehicles for use on the road network, including 500 vehicles for dealing with incidents that may occur on the strategic road network.

The Department for Transport will shortly be writing to local highway authorities in England to remind them of their duties and to advise that they clean their drains and gullies in order to minimise the risk of surface water flooding on the highways for which they are responsible.

It must, however, be recognised that severe winter weather may cause some disruption to the transport network. If travel is disrupted then we expect operators and highway authorities to do everything they can to keep passengers and road users informed whilst ensuring that the networks resume services as quickly as possible.

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