£5m cost of repairing county’s pothole roads

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Almost £5m has been spent repairing winter damage to Lancashire’s creaking roads.

Government and taxpayers’ cash has been ploughed into fixing potholes and resurfacing streets after the harsh winter left many areas in an appalling state.

Around £1m has been spent just on providing a “quick fix” for more than 21,000 potholes over the past 12 months.

But according to official figures, there are still almost 3,000 potholes on the county’s roads at any one time.

And the huge amount of money spent still falls short of what is needed to fix every piece of damage.

Preston is one of the county’s worst affected areas. According to statistics released by County Hall under the Freedom of Information Act, around 16% of damaged roads are typically found in the city.

Rossendale is the worst affected area - more than a fifth of potholes are found there.

Earlier this year, a report by insurers Warranty Direct revealed Lancashire drivers spend £10.3m a year on repairs after damage caused by potholes.

Of the cash the council spent, £3m came from a £5m budget pot to improve roads in Lancashire. That was used to repair winter damage through mini-resurfacing schemes.

Another £1.9m from the Government was used to fix potholes. The council has also spent £10m on major resurfacing throughout the year.

But the cash still found short. Earlier this year a council survey found that the severe winter weather last year caused £6.9m of damage to the roads.

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Last year’s harsh winter caused a great deal of damage to roads everywhere in the country which is why councils received extra funding from the Department for Transport. Here in Lancashire we used this as an opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we maintain our roads.

“We’ve made real progress by researching new maintenance techniques and learning from the experience of other councils. One of the key developments is that we’re making use of large patches of between 30m and 100m which cover areas of multiple potholes, which is better than the short-term fix.”