Cabinet announces extra £5m to tackle potholes and improve county's roads

Lancashire County Council has signalled its commitment to tackling the potholes menace head-on with a further investment of £5m in the county's roads.

Councils across the UK are facing a backlog of repairs following a particularly damp winter, with Met Office data showing the country has experienced the wettest 18 months since records began.

Wet weather is a major cause of potholes, as water penetrates small weaknesses in the road surface causing cracks to open up, which is exacerbated during the winter as any moisture freezes to ice and expands.

The extra £5m agreed as an urgent decision by the council's cabinet will bring the county's highways budget for the year to over £37m, with a major focus on resurfacing sections of road where multiple potholes have appeared to avoid the need for repeated visits in future.

County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The pothole problem is UK-wide as a result of the record rainfall over recent months, and Lancashire is far from being alone in terms of the impact this has had on our roads - but we are already taking action to tackle it.

"We've already announced a significant programme of resurfacing schemes, and preventative maintenance based upon survey data which helps us prioritise by showing where the right treatment at the right time will make the biggest difference over the long term."

A particular impact of the wet conditions has been multiple potholes appearing on short sections of road where water has not been able to drain away due to the local ground conditions, or flows across the surface from surrounding land, but the rest of the road is still in much better condition.

County Councillor Swarbrick added: "This extra £5m will make a big difference by ensuring our highways teams have the resources to carry out resurfacing schemes to these localised areas. In many places we will also be improving the local drainage system to reduce the likelihood of these problems reoccurring.

"Repairing our roads is our number one priority as we recognise how important this issue is to our residents and businesses.

"Keeping our roads as safe as possible during the wet and freezing weather over the winter has been very challenging for our highways teams, and I'd like to thank them for their tireless efforts. They haven't stopped, and I know they'll be continuing their hard work over the coming months to make all our journeys smoother."

The county council's deputy leader County Councillor Alan Vincent explained at the cabinet meeting that the council's strong financial position, along with the economy showing signs of recovery, meant the extra £5m could be released to accelerate highway repairs as this is such a high priority issue for Lancashire's residents.

The extra funding agreed by Lancashire County Council's cabinet will be invested as follows:

  • £2.5m for 'responsive patching' to make good quality repairs to localised areas around 25m2 where the surface is in poor condition and there have been multiple pothole repairs.
  • £1.5m for localised resurfacing schemes. This boosts the budget for 'Local Deterioration Fund' schemes to £4.3m, ensuring more repairs can be carried out.
  • £1m for replacing safety-critical road markings and signs.

Please help keep Lancashire's roads safe by reporting potholes or any other issues using the Love Clean Streets app, via our website or by calling our customer service centre, so that we can carry out prompt inspections and repairs.


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