‘Beast from the East’ sends York gritting budget £180K over budget

The Beast From The East is still sending chills around York, even now the sun is shining.

It turns out the cold snap has sent City of York Council over budget by more than £180,000.

The city council spent £581,000 on winter maintenance – including road gritting – in 2017/18, almost 50 per cent more than its £400,000 budget.

Council officials have confirmed that their teams

  • gritted roads in the city 108 times
  • treated footpaths 27 times
  • and cycle paths another five times

– adding up to the £181,000 overspend.

‘It was to be expected’

A cyclist rides down Deangate in the snow. Photograph: YorkMix

However, council officials say the authority has a £258,000 “winter maintenance reserve” fund set aside specifically to help cover the costs when the city has a particularly hard winter.

Cllr Peter Dew, the council’s executive member for transport and planning, said: “It was to be expected that we would go over budget on that, and I think they did as well as they could.

“I have said often that the highways team did an excellent job, not only the gritting crews getting their job done but also the follow up of temporary pothole repairs which were due to the weather as well.”

The temporary pothole repairs have now been completed, he added, and the council now has its own teams and contractors at work on the 2018/19 programme of roadworks.

Early March saw the UK hit by unseasonably cold air which swept in from Siberia and left much of the country with temperatures feeling as low as -10C.