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Roads: Snow and Ice

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has to fund the purchase of snow ploughs in the next 12 months. (257748)

It is the responsibility of each local highway authority in England to develop a winter service strategy for its highway network. The Department for Transport is providing, as part of the local transport plan settlement, capital funding of £693 million in 2009-10 for local authority highways maintenance, though this is not ring-fenced to particular activities.

The Highways Agency has completed the first phase of a four year procurement contract worth £45 million, to replace all winter fleet vehicles, including snow ploughs. The first phase has covered the North West, East and part of the South East. In the next 12 months, the Agency will be purchasing 43 dedicated snow ploughs and a further 182 vehicles adapted for the use of snow ploughs. These will cover areas in the North East, the Midlands and part of the South East.