The Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities submitted a report seeking approval for the 2012-13 Winter Maintenance Plan.
Middlesbrough Council as Highway Authority had a duty to repair and maintain the highway (Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980). The Council had additional duties under the Highways Act 1980 (Section 41(a)) as amended by the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 in respect of snow and ice.
The duty was to ensure so far as was reasonably practicable that safe passage along the highway was not endangered by snow and ice, but it was not an absolute duty. "Reasonably practicable" and "endangered" were open to interpretation on the facts of each case, so in essence, the Council must show that reasonable steps had been taken to discharge the duty.
In addition, the Traffic Management Act of 2004 imposed a duty on local authorities to manage its Highway Network in order to minimise disruption to all road users including pedestrians and cyclists.
The document concerned itself with the procedures associated with the Councils Winter Maintenance planned response to adverse weather conditions if and when the highway network in the town was affected.
The report outlined that there were no options available in respect of the 2012 -13 winter maintenance arrangements. The provision was dependent upon the type of winter experienced. With severe and prolonged winter costing more than mild short winters. A normal winter would require funding in the region of £300k, and that relevant risk assessments for winter maintenance provision had been undertaken in order to mitigate the effect of winter maintenance events.
During the meeting Cllr N Walker requested that members are made aware of any severe weather warnings.
That the 2012-13 Winter Maintenance Plan attached in Appendix 1 was approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
The Authority was required to produce an annual Winter Maintenance Plan.