Highway Safety Inspection Manual update consultation
- Period: 28 November 2018 - 22 January 2019
- Status: Open
- Audiences: Everyone
- Topics: Highways maintenance
- Type: Public
Shropshire’s highway network encompasses more than 5,100 km. It is an extensive and diverse network ranging from busy urban roads to lightly trafficked rural lanes, which form the majority of the network. Section 41 of the Highways Act (1980) places a duty on the authority to maintain the highway.
We've been working to respond to the requirements set out in the national Code of Practice ‘Well Managed Highway Infrastructure’ published on 28 October 2016 by the UK Roads Liaison Group, and endorsed by the Department for Transport. This national code is designed to ensure the delivery of a safe and well-maintained highway network. It recognises that this relies on good evidence and sound engineering judgement. The code provides guidance for authorities to consider when developing their approach in accordance with local needs, priorities and affordability. The emphasis is on adopting a risk-based approach and allowing authorities to set levels of service which best fit local needs and resources, rather than forcing authorities to meet set national standards.
A risk-based approach can represent a clear, co-ordinated response to the identification of risks from a given set of circumstances. It also involves a process of continuous evaluation, as new information becomes available. We've worked to roll out changes, and have already focused on winter maintenance under the risk-based approach.
Work is now needed to:
- Implement the updated Highway Safety Inspection Manual
- Further clarify the investigatory levels for highway safety inspection
- Refresh and update our Skidding Resistance Policy in line with the latest good practice
Proposed Skidding Resistance Policy
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. Proposed changes to the current 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 we'll 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.
Proposed changes to the Highways Safety Inspection Manual
The current manual includes a minimum investigatory level of 25mm for defects on the carriageways. Concerns have been raised that an investigatory level of 25 mm 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. The changes proposed are:
- To set the minimum investigatory level for a defect on a carriageway to 40mm (rather than 25mm)
This amendment will align our investigatory level with the majority of other highways authorities, and better align risk policies with external advice, resources and risk management.
To comment on these proposals, please click on the 'How to get involved' tab on this page. The closing date for this consultation is 20 January 2019.
Please use our short survey to comment on these proposals. The closing date for this consultation is 20 January 2019.Go to the survey »
How we will use your information
The information you provide will be used for statistical purposes and to inform decision making. We'll publish anonymised responses, parts of responses, or a summarised version of responses to the questions from members of the public in our 'consultation summary' document. Your response will be stored and kept in line with our retention schedule.
Your information may be shared with other council services and those commissioned to deliver services on our behalf (in this instance highways commissioned services). We won't share your information with any other external third parties. Your information will be held securely, and if shared for the purposes of this consultation and response it will be shared securely. We comply with data protection laws concerning the protection of personal information, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).