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Transport: Snow and Ice

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to build increased resilience into key national transport networks for circumstances where temperatures drop below freezing. (255181)

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: The owners and operators of the key national transport networks have a wide range of plans in place to ensure resilience in the event of adverse weather conditions, including snow and freezing temperatures.

As a result, in the case of the recent severe weather, the Highways Agency was able to minimise disruption to the strategic road network (motorways and major trunk roads in England) which the Secretary of State for Transport is responsible for, while also providing emergency road salt supplies to a number of local authorities (who are responsible for around 95 per cent. of roads in England).

Network Rail is responsible for the rail network and makes all reasonable preparations for exceptional weather in the winter. They along with train operating companies take responsibility for ensuring stations are maintained during these periods.

Additionally, the major transport sectors will be undertaking reviews of their performance during the recent severe winter weather, to ensure appropriate lessons are learned to support the continuous improvement to winter services.