Funding to Help after the Severe Weather
Written by Gavin on 27th April 2018
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has welcomed Welsh Government funding to help with the costs incurred by Local Authorities during the severe weather this winter – with RCT receiving more than £157,000.
The funding, part of a one-off fund of £2.5m, was announced by Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, and Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Welsh Local Government Association’s spokesperson for Transport, Environment and Sustainability.
During the winter, periods of severe weather hit large parts of the country – and Rhondda Cynon Taf experienced heavy snow and freezing conditions in mid-December 2017 and at the beginning of March 2018.
In order to make road conditions as safe as possible and to get the Highways network up and running again, it required the biggest snow clearance operation in Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s history. Council staff worked around-the-clock in shifts to clear the main network as a priority – followed by footpaths, town centres and the Maerdy, Bwlch and Rhigos mountain routes.
Staff from several Council departments were drafted in to assist the Highways team, along with a number of contractors who helped with snow clearance as part of the Council’s contingency planning. In December’s snow period alone, crews covered 3,000 miles of road and spread more than 1,250 tonnes of salt.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said:
“Rhondda Cynon Taf, along with I’m sure all of the other affected Local Authorities in Wales, welcomes this one-off funding from the Welsh Government following the winter weather – the severity of which we haven’t seen in the past 20 years.
“The Council was praised for its swift and proactive response to the conditions we faced, which required a great team effort. While contingency measures are put in place, and funding set aside to tackle winter weather, clean-up operations are expensive – especially with the severity of this winter’s weather and the fact there were two snow events so close together.
“Following the snow periods, the Council continues to assess and monitor the condition of the road network and has committed additional funding, over and above its normal #RCTinvest funding, to tackle potholes. As a direct result of the winter weather, the Council has recently completed surfacing works at Merthyr Road through Llwydcoed and on the A4058 between Trehafod and Hopkinstown – and the wider Highways network will continue to be assessed.
“Through #RCTinvest, the Council continues to invest in, repair and ultimately future-proof our roads. The Council has allocated £11.77m for Highways Technical Services in our £23.6m 2018/19 Highways Capital Programme, which includes continued funding for road surfacing and footway repairs.”