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Winter Service Policy

Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 places a statutory duty on the Highway Authority to maintain the highway, as follows:-

"(1A) In particular, a Highway Authority is under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.”

1.2 The legislation does not impose an absolute duty but rather involves a
balance between the degree of risk and the steps necessary to eliminate the risk.

1.3. In order to provide a statutory defence, a County Policy on winter maintenance services is required which should be reviewed on a regular basis.

1.4. The requirement to ensure compliance with Section 1.3 has been emphasised in collaborative meetings that have taken place amongst the six North Wales Authorities following the Coroners inquest into the winter maintenance incidents that have occurred in North Wales Authorities during recent years.

1.5 The level of service for County Roads is determined by the elected Members of each Council. This is based on a risk assessment approach to determining a cost effective hierarchy of routes and treatments. The Authority believes that the level of service meets the requirements on the current interpretation of ‘reasonably practicable’ but will continue to keep service provision under review, particularly in respect of any legal judgements. A review of the Winter Maintenance operations is undertaken each year before the Winter season.