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road maintenance policy for Stretford Road B5218

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Dear Manchester City Council,

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act relating to a road your authority is responsible for maintaining.
Specifically, my query relates to Stretford Road A5067, on the western side of the junction with Chorlton Road B5218, coordinates roughly 53°27'56.3"N 2°15'29.1"W

Please can you send me:
A copy of your current road maintenance policy relating to that road. Please send me the full policy, but this should include details of the intended frequency of road safety inspections, how these inspections should be conducted and the maximum time between identification of a defect and repairs being carried out.
A copy of the road repair history for that road over the past year. Again, please send me the full road repair history, but this should include:
- dates of all safety inspections between November 15th 2018 and January 17th 2019
- details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven, speed of inspection vehicle etc)
- details of all carriageway defects identified, with description, date and time
- details of how the authority handled these defects, what repairs were undertaken and the time between the identification of each defect and a repair being carried out.

I would be grateful if you could reply with this information promptly. Please confirm in writing that you have received this request. I look forward to your response within 20 working days, as outlined by the statute.

Yours faithfully,

Sam Tate

Information Compliance, Manchester City Council

Dear Sam Tate,
Re: Request for Information - Reference No: HWY/B8JF24
Thank you for your request for information received by Manchester City
Council on 17 January 2019.
Please note that it may take up to 20 working days (14 February 2019) for
the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.   
If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will
be notified and kept informed. 
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Yours sincerely
Peter Hassett
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA
Email:  [1][Manchester City Council request email]
Website:  [2]www.manchester.gov.uk

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Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sam Tate

Request for Information - Ref:559 HWY/B8JF24

Thank you for your request for information, which was received by
Manchester City Council on 17 January 2019. The Council has considered the
information requested and is satisfied that it falls within the broad
definition of “environmental information” in the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIR). Your request for information has therefore been
considered under the provisions of the EIR and l can confirm that the
Council holds this information.

I set out below your request for information and the Council’s response.

You have requested:

Specifically, my query relates to: Stretford Road A5067, on the western
side of the junction with Chorlton Road B5218, coordinates roughly 53°
27'56.3"N 2°15'29.1"W

1) A copy of your current road maintenance policy relating to that road.
Please send me the full policy, but this should include details of the
intended frequency of road safety inspections, how these inspections should
be conducted and the maximum time between identification of a defect and
repairs being carried out.

2) A copy of the road repair history for that road over the past year.
Again, please send me the full road repair history, but this should
include:

· dates of all safety inspections between November 15th 2018 and
January 17th 2019

· details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven,
speed of inspection vehicle etc)

· details of all carriageway defects identified, with description, date
and time

· details of how the authority handled these defects, what repairs were
undertaken and the time between the identification of each defect and
a repair being carried out.

In response:

A copy of your current road maintenance policy relating to that road.
Please send me the full policy, but this should include details of the
intended frequency of road safety inspections, how these inspections should
be conducted and the maximum time between identification of a defect and
repairs being carried out.

Please find a copy of the Code of Practice attached

Details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven, speed
of inspection vehicle etc)

This information is contained within the attached Code of Practice.

Details of how the authority handled these defects

Once defects are identified, works orders are issued through our works
management system (symology).

With regards to the remainder of your request, we are unable to provide you
with this information as this information is exempt pursuant to:

R12 (5) (b) – The Course of Justice

R12(5)(b) provides that information is exempt where disclosure would
prejudice the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair
trial or the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a
criminal or disciplinary nature

You will appreciate that EIR/FoIA is applicant and purpose blind. The main
consideration is whether or not the requested information is capable of
release to the world at large, regardless of the motives or interest of the
person or organisation making the actual request.

Taking this into consideration, if individuals seek to bring compensation
claims for poorly maintained highways, they are obliged to provide details
of the highway and evidence of the damage, but also the date or short
period of time in which they believe the damage occurred. Consequently
details of complaints submitted by the public along with information
recorded on highway safety inspections, are used for validating claims. The
public disclosure of this information could allow individuals to identify
road defects that the council had knowledge of, but had not yet repaired,
therefore facilitating claims that are fraudulent.

All of the exceptions under the EIR are subject to the “public interest
test” therefore, the Council has gone on to consider the public arguments.

Public interest factors in favour of disclosure

• The general public interest in transparency

• There is a clear interest in public authorities being accountable in
relation to their responsibilities, particularly when these relate to
public safety.

Public interest factors in favour of maintaining the exception

• The Council has a legal responsibility to tackle fraud and to protect
the public purse from fraudulent claims.

• The disclosure of the withheld information would hinder the Council
in fulfilling this obligation, as it would provide information which would
aid in allowing individuals to know and how long it takes to address
defects which are found. This could potentially aid fraudulent claimants.

In addition, to considering the public interest factors we have also taken
into consideration the Decision Notice FER0611819 relating to Chester West
& Chester Council
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
and guidance issued by the Information Commissioners Office.

Taking the above factors into account, and having applied the presumption
in favour of disclosure, I have determined that the public interest favours
maintaining the exception.

We have gone on to consider if we could provide you with any information.
We would be able to provide you with the dates of highway inspections.
If you would like this information please let me know.

Please note if you are not satisfied with this response you may ask for an
internal review. If you wish an internal review to be undertaken you should
contact the Democratic Services Legal Team, whose address is, PO Box 532,
Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, email:
[Manchester City Council request email] in the first instance. A copy of
the Council’s access to information complaints procedure can be downloaded
from
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/d...
. If you do not have internet access and require a paper copy, please let
me know.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review process, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545700

Fax: 01625 524510

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Gillham

Head of Citywide Highways

(See attached file: Highway Safety Inspection CoP_Sept 2016.pdf)

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sam Tate please sign in and let everyone know.