County on the road to better motoring as highway repairs hit the fast lane

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The battle to improve Lancashire's ageing road network is gradually being won, according to a report by County Hall chiefs.

Pothole repairs are being carried out quicker - 99 per cent are now tackled within 20 days - and "good progress" is being made on maintaining the county's 4,600 miles of highways.

What does the report say?

In the report to LCC's cabinet, officers say "our roads are gradually improving thanks to a consistent approach to investment and maintenance.

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Road repairs in Lancashire are improving.Road repairs in Lancashire are improving.
Road repairs in Lancashire are improving.

"However, a fresh approach is needed in some areas to make limited funding stretch further."

What is LCC’s aim for its road network?

The Transport Asset Management Plan (TAMP) aims to maintain and improve the overall state of infrastructure such as roads, bridges and streetlights "by targeting repairs at the right time, before more expensive and time-consuming work is needed.

"This approach, which can be summed up as 'prevention is better than cure', is recommended by the Department for Transport to help councils make their maintenance budgets go further."

99 per cent of potholes are repaired within 20 days.99 per cent of potholes are repaired within 20 days.
99 per cent of potholes are repaired within 20 days.
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The report says improved maintenance of A, B and C roads across Lancashire - the target of the first five-year phase of TAMP - now means less funding should be needed to keep them in good condition in the future.

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The second phase is now focusing on improving the condition of smaller residential roads. "However recent survey work to gain better information about the condition of these roads has revealed that there is a substantial maintenance backlog."

What about traffic lights and street lighting?

Residential roads will take time, says report.Residential roads will take time, says report.
Residential roads will take time, says report.

The authority says it has revised its approach to maintaining traffic signals and street lighting with old equipment being made to last longer and only obsolete components being replaced.

Coun Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "It's great to see that consistent investment in our most important A, B and C roads continues to make a significant difference, with far fewer potholes and other issues now being found on these roads.

"Recent performance data also shows that we're responding to problems such as potholes in a timely manner. This swift action represents good progress and I hope will be reflected in the next annual survey of Lancashire's roads.

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"This report shows that our long-term plan to improve the county's transport infrastructure is working, and confirms that 'prevention is better than cure,’ rather than always focusing on replacing the worst first, is the right strategy over time.”

Are residential roads being improved too?

Coun Edwards added: "However, we still face some big challenges and the survey of the unclassified residential road network shows there is a substantial backlog.

"This is the focus of the second phase of our strategy and means that we are currently investing more in these roads, but the scale of the task as shown by our recent surveys is even bigger than we could have expected.

"I want as much as anyone else for our residential roads to look neat and tidy, and we will continue to invest as much as we can in them. But improving their condition will take time with the current level of funding we receive.

"Replacing street lighting columns and traffic signal equipment also presents a challenge as the rate at which we can afford to replace them means their overall condition is gradually declining.