Lancashire ups its fight against potholes

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A new approach for reducing the number of potholes across Lancashire has been hailed a success by council chiefs.

Lancashire County Council bosses said fewer potholes are being found after they introduced a scheme to prevent them appearing on the county’s roads.

This is a significant departure from the traditional approach of repairing the worst damage first and will allow us to make our money go further

County Coun. John Fillis

Highways teams have shifted the focus from repairing the worst damaged roads first, towards intervening at the right time to stop good roads deteriorating.

The aim of the 15-year Transport Asset Management Plan is to improve the overall condition of roads, bridges and streetlights by using survey data to target repairs at the right time, before more expensive and time-consuming work is needed.

County Coun. John Fillis, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It’s very encouraging that we’ve found fewer potholes and other defects on our roads this year compared with the previous year.

“We’ve changed the way we work by putting more resources into preventative treatments such as surface dressing, where we patch any bad damage then use a thin layer of tar and stone chippings to waterproof the road. This can give years more life to a road which is just beginning to show serious signs of wear and is much more cost-effective than waiting until it needs to be completely resurfaced.

“This is a significant departure from the traditional approach of repairing the worst damage first and will allow us to make our money go further. It relies on making better use of survey data to intervene at the right time with the right treatment.”

The preventative approach is being championed by the Department for Transport which, from next year, will rate councils on their performance, with only those in the top band eligible to receive 100% of their allocated funding for road maintenance. Officers are currently completing a self-assessment process which will influence how much funding Lancashire receives next year.