Monday 15 March 2010
Extra gritting (NHS Savings)
The Petition of People of Croydon,
Declares that there are huge increases in visits to A & E at Mayday after falls on treacherous ice on Croydon’s roads and pavements and that it would be worthwhile investing in extra gritting such that less public money is spent caring for the injured or lost from reduced income tax and national insurance payments from those kept off work through injury.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take steps to encourage the NHS and local Councils to work together to identify funds for extra gritting of pavements and roads so as to reduce costly and painful accidents.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Andrew Pelling, Official Report, 1 March 2010; Vol. 506, c. 772 .]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:
Provision of a winter service on the roads in Croydon is a matter for the London Borough of Croydon, within the Mayor’s overall transport strategy. It has a duty, under s41 of the Highways Act 1980, to maintain the highways in its charge; and this includes a specific requirement to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.
The Department for Transport encourages local highways authorities to adopt the good practice set out in the UK Roads Liaison Group’s code of practice for highways maintenance management, Well-maintained Highways (available from: www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org). This includes a section on winter service, which has been recently updated to take account of the review which the UKRLG undertook in response to the severe weather of February 2009. The Code of Practice urges local highway authorities to produce, and formally approve and adopt, policies and priorities for winter service. These should be coherent with wider objectives for transport, integration, accessibility and network management, including strategies for public transport, walking and cycling, as well as the wider strategic objectives of the authority.
The Government welcome the initiative between Durham County Council and the NHS County Durham Primary Care Trust for the provision of £1 million over two years to provide additional winter maintenance budgetary provision. The PCT funding stream is being made available in both 2009-10 and 2010-11 to cover the revenue and capital costs of additional routes; and has been allocated to the provision of additional trailer gritters, footway snow clearance plant and additional salt boxes.