In 2014, the Department for Transport (DfT) undertook a review of the resilience of the UK transport network to extreme weather events. This followed a period of extreme weather in 2013/14, which saw high winds and heavy rain.
A number of recommendations were made as a result, in both the short and longer term. What follows is the key short-term recommendation for the local highway network.
DfT recommendation for local roads
"It is recommended that Local Highway Authorities identify a 'resilient network' to which they will give priority, in order to maintain economic activity and access to key services during extreme weather. Where Authorities have held formal reviews of the winter's events, they should ensure that these are enacted; Authorities which were not affected should nevertheless continue to prepare themselves for future extreme weather."
The primary use of the resilient network will be to support decision making and prioritisation of funding for maintenance and improvements to our highway network. This recommendation aligns with our wider strategies, including the Winter Services Plan, Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, Shoreline Management Plan and the Flood Action Plan.
The development of a resilient network directly supports our Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) vision "To make Northumberland a place that is resilient for the future".
Priority has been given to the greatest risks to the highway network: snow, ice and flooding. A tiered approach to the management of the network has been used, with the national primary network forming the base of the resilient network.
Winter service network and the management of risks related to network resilience
The following show the winter service network and the management of risks related to network resilience:
The Northumberland Resilient Road Network describes the minimum roads within the county (and cross boundary) that are required to be continuously kept open in severe winter weather to maintain economic activity and access to key services during disruptive events.
The Northumberland Resilient Road Network includes all classified ‘A’ roads and roads required to access ‘essential services’.
Click here to view the Northumberland Resilient Road Network Map