Resilient highways consultation
In 2014, the Department for Transport (DfT) undertook a review of the how well the UK transport network copes in extreme weather events (the 'resilience'). This followed a period of extreme weather in 2013 / 2014, which saw high winds and heavy rainfall. A number of recommendations were made as a result, including that local highway authorities "identify a 'resilient network' to which they will give priority" when extreme weather events occur.
As the highway authority, we are responsible for the construction and maintenance of non trunk roads, cycle ways, street lighting, bridges and structures and other highway assets. We want those to cope with any extreme weather and climate change.
A 'Resilient Highways Network' identifies the particular roads that would be given priority during adverse events, such as extreme weather. When extreme weather occurs (floods, storms, ice, snow etc), the main concern for us will be to keep these roads open in order to maintain economic activity to town centres, industrial estates and business parks, and access to key services such as schools, railway stations, key food shops, petrol stations, hospitals, police, fire services etc.
This network would, in the main, be those roads that receive salting between October and April. These routes are chosen as they have the highest volumes of traffic and the greatest risk of accidents occurring. The roads within that network would be reviewed after an emergency event, or every two years if no events occur.