Cash boost for county road repairs

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Road crews have been putting in the hours this summer to make the most of an extra £4.9m awarded to Lancashire County Council for highway repairs.

Lancashire was one of the biggest winners after councils across the country were invited to make a bid for more funding to the Department for Transport earlier this year.

As well as receiving £4.9m, the council was praised by the DfT for its approach that “prevention is better than cure” when looking after highways infrastructure.

It has added significantly to the existing £25.5m budget for planned highway maintenance and allowed many more miles of road to be improved and maintained.

County Coun. John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re taking a long term approach to road maintenance which recognises that it’s more cost-effective to keep good roads in good condition than focus on fixing the worst potholes first.

“Our highway network is vital to our economy and people’s everyday lives but we face a real challenge to maintain it in future. Drivers, cyclists and businesses have increased expectations but the county council faces a climate of real austerity, needing to cut £300m from our budget.

“Our new approach is to concentrate more resources on making the right treatment at the right time to seal surfaces and stop water getting into them, which over time will reduce the number of potholes appearing and improve the overall quality of our roads.

“We will of course continue to carry out inspections and repair potholes to ensure our roads are safe.

“The extra money from the DfT has already allowed us to do considerably more maintenance with further work programmed to be done over the winter. Members of the public are already making positive comments as they can see that Lancashire is delivering on its promises.”

The work due to be completed by April includes:

l £1.1m for preservative treatments, where a layer of tar and chippings is used to seal and waterproof the surface to prevent potholes.

l £0.5m to permanently fix worn and potholed areas using large patches.

l £2.7m to completely resurface and reconstruct worn sections.

l £0.6m to fix pavements.