House of Commons Library

Transport: winter maintenance

Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This note looks at the Quarmby recommendations to improve the resilience of all modes of transport to extreme weather, focusing particularly on the road network. It also explains the duty of highways authorities to ensure that safe passage along the highway is not endangered by snow or ice and looks briefly at issues of salt and grit supplies.

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Over recent years there have been concerns about the ability of the UK transport network – roads, public transport and airports – to deal with extreme winter weather (freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall and flooding).

In response to these concerns, the Labour Government commissioned an independent review of winter resilience in England. This was undertaken by David Quarmby CBE, who published his interim report in July 2010 and his final report in October 2010. Alongside the final report he also published an independent audit of the UK’s transport system. Quarmby looked at how all modes of transport had fared during the particularly harsh winters of 2008-09 and 2009-10 and offered a number of recommendations.

This note looks at the Quarmby recommendations to improve the resilience of all modes of transport to extreme weather, focusing particularly on the road network. It also explains the duty of highways authorities to ensure that safe passage along the highway is not endangered by snow or ice and looks briefly at issues of salt and grit supplies.

Commons Briefing papers SN02874

Author: Louise Butcher

Topics: Aviation, Railways, Roads

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