Report by Corporate Director Alistair Cunningham
Councillor Bridget Wayman presented the report to Cabinet which highlighted the implications of the new highways maintenance Code of Practice published by the Department of Transport in October 2016, and asked Cabinet to approve the adoption of the Wiltshire Highways Safety Inspection Manual (WHSIM) and related highways policies.
The Cabinet was informed that a review of the Council’s highways maintenance activities had been undertaken in view of the new Code of Practice. The review indicated that most of the Code’s recommendations had already been complied with, or were being implemented in connection with the Peer review and Incentive Funding assessments. However, the Council’s Highways Inspection manual needed to be updated to conform to the new Code.
Councillor Toby Sturgis commented on the colour of lines used by the Council and utility companies to indicate repairs or work on the road network and suggested that a glossary of line colours employed by the council and their meaning to be included in the manual. He also highlighted that the Council needed to be more stringent in requiring utilities to use A board signs when undertaking road repairs to show which utility company is carrying out the work.
Councillor Matthew Dean reported that the Environment Select Committee considered the report at its meeting held on 4th September and the Committee supported the reports proposals, subject to some minor amendments. He also commented on; the condition of the county’s A, B and C road network in comparison to the national and south west regional network; welcomed the risk management approach contained in the manual; consideration of the lifecycle costs of repairs to the network and delivery of value for money.
The Cabinet commented on the continual need to promote the ‘My Wiltshire’ app for reporting highway defects in light of the savings achieved compared to the traditional methods of phone or letter;
Mr Gale commented on the criteria for the use of temporary speed indictor devices and how it appears that a number of parish and town councils were exceeding the 14-day deployment period.
i) To adopt the proposed Wiltshire Highways Safety Inspection Manual, set out in Appendix 1 to the report, to be used for highway safety inspections from 1 November 2018.
ii) To adopt the amended Skid Resistance Policy, as set out in Appendix 3 of the report.
iii) To approve the highway policies set out in Appendices 4 and 5 of the report.
iv) That the Director, Highways and Transport, in consultation with the Cabinet Member, Highways, Transport and Waste, be authorised to make any appropriate and legally necessary amendments to the policies and inspection manual referred to above.
v) That the Director, Highways and Transport prepare a glossary of line colours employed by the council and their meaning to be included in the Wiltshire Highways Safety Inspection Manual.
vi) That Councillors and public be encouraged to contact the Council where the use of temporary speed indictor devices were exceeding the 14-day deployment period.
Reason for Decision:
There are serious risks in connection with road maintenance, which include safety, financial and reputational aspects, especially in connection with killed and seriously injured collisions on the highway network. In order to reduce these risks, it is important that the Council has clear highway inspection and maintenance procedures in place in accordance with the latest DfT guidance.
The proposed Wiltshire Highways Safety Inspection Manual takes a risk based approach to highways maintenance, and has been prepared to meet the requirements of the new Code of Practice ‘Well-managed Highway Infrastructure’ published in October 2016, taking into account local needs, priorities and affordability.