Sheffield Green Party have submitted the following comment on the Winter Maintenance consultation.
“Sheffield Green Party believes that the priority of the Winter Maintenance service should be to ensure that pedestrians and public transport can continue moving during periods of wintery weather. These are precisely the forms of transport that people rely on when unable to use private cars. We therefore welcome the inclusion of roads which “[form] part of a major SYPTE bus route” within the proposed criteria for the council’s Priority 2 precautionary gritting routes. However, we are concerned that the proposals to remove some grit bins and to cease recruitment of snow wardens will remove two of the key ways in which local people who want to offer something to their community can work to keep their footways clear and safe during wintery weather. Removing these relatively cost-effective services risks making pedestrian travel more difficult and dangerous during these times.
We also note that wintery weather is only one of example of an extreme weather event that can jeopardise residents’ ability to move around Sheffield’s highway and footway network. Other examples are flash flooding from heavy rainfall, trees falling across the road in high winds, and tarmac melting during heatwaves. It is likely that these types of events will become both more frequent and more severe in future due to climate change. It is therefore important that the council thinks more broadly about how it can ensure that Sheffield’s transport network is flexible and resilient enough to deal with these challenges.”