Views sought on changes to council’s skidding resistance policy
Shropshire Council has launched a consultation on planned changes to its skidding resistance policy and its highway safety inspection manual.
The six-week consultation runs until 20 January 2019 and can be found on the Shropshire Council website here.
The main purpose of the proposed changes is to bring the council’s policies in line with the majority of other highways authorities, and better align risk policies with external advice, resources and risk management. A number of changes to remove redundant categories and clarify roles and responsibilities are also proposed.
The objective of Shropshire’s skidding resistance policy is to control the risk of skidding incidents on a defined network of major roads by the provision of a level of wet road skid resistance that is appropriate for each location. The policy sets out every aspect of how wet road skid resistance is managed.
It’s proposed that an updated policy is prepared based on available good practice from Highways England. The proposed updated skidding resistance policy will set a consistent level of risk of wet road skid accidents across the major roads in Shropshire.
The current highway safety inspection manual includes a minimum investigatory level of 25mm for defects on the carriageways. Concerns have been raised that an investigatory level of 25mm as set out in the current policy may be difficult to discern from a slow-moving vehicle leading to a failure to record some defects.
It’s proposed to instead set the minimum investigatory level for a defect on a carriageway to 40mm.
Steve Davenport, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“These proposed changes would bring the council’s policies in line with the majority of other highways authorities, and better align our risk policies with external advice, resources and risk management. We ask people to take a close look at our proposals and tell us what they think.”
To comment on these proposals, please go to shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved before 20 January 2019.
All responses to the consultation will be carefully considered before the final proposals are presented to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in early 2019.
Proposed changes to the current skidding resistance policy include:
- Under the Highways Act there is a duty to make sure the highways are safe. Paragraph 9.7 of the 2010 Skidding Policy states that Shropshire Council will erect ‘slippery’ warning signs where a new surface has been laid. This practice has since changed within the industry and new guidance is available. As a result it is proposed that 9.7 of the policy will be removed, allowing for a more flexible, risk-based approach.
- It is proposed that roles and responsibilities are clarified and aligned with the roles in the highways safety inspection policy.
- It is promised that improvements in the specification of data collection are explained and included in the updated policy.
- It is proposed that the new policy see the removal of a now redundant site category, X.
- It is proposed that a minor update of the site investigation process is made to accommodate the latest developments in technology.