Urgent plea to repair potholes

Pothole: danger for road users
Pothole: danger for road users

A councillor has highlighted the urgent need for repairs and improvements to Garstang’s roads and pavements.

The issue was raised at Garstang Town Council this week when Coun. David Williams pointed out that stretches of highway in Garstang urgently need attention.

He said: “The stretch between the Bell and Bottle and the canal bridge needs attention.

“It is a case of not if, but when, there is an accident there because we need a proper pavement.”

His call came as the Country Land and Business Association in the North focused its attention on the problem of potholes on rural routes.

The association urged the region’s councils not to cut back on vital repairs to B roads and other minor routes which have been seriously damaged as a result of recent freezing temperatures.

Lancashire County Council, meanwhile, said a succession of cold winters means it is repairing around an extra 6,000 potholes each year.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Freezing conditions always herald the start of the pothole season and while local councils are usually quick to repair damage to major roads they are often more tardy in their approach to minor routes.

“As the ongoing austerity measures continue to bite, we are seriously concerned that cash-starved councils will be tempted to further neglect rural roads which are a key part of the infrastructure that underpins the rural economy.”

Miss Fairburn added: “In the current economic climate rural businesses cannot afford to be further disadvantaged by having to pay hefty repair bills for vehicles damaged by potholes that should have been dealt with by the local council.”

According to the website potholes.co.uk, potholes are estimated to cause as many as one out of five mechanical failures on UK roads, costing motorists an estimated £320m every year.

Andrew Ashcroft, Lancashire County Council’s Highways manager, said “All reports of potholes are dealt with on the same basis irrespective of the type of road.

“Roads across Lancashire have been badly affected by a succession of cold winters.

Combined with months of very wet weather and more recent frost and snow, this has led to a substantial increase in the number of potholes and we have been repairing around 6,000 more potholes each year as a result.”

He continued: “Not all potholes present an immediate danger to road users.

“However, we’re keen to receive any information that will help our maintenance teams to identify the location and severity of problems with the roads, so we can repair them as quickly as possible. The winter is always the worst time of the year for potholes as this is when most of the damage occurs and it is the most difficult time for repairing them.”

An annual budget of £106,000 fpr 2012/13 has been allocated for pothole repairs on Wyre’s adopted highways network.

For neighbouring Ribble Valley- the biggest district in the county - the figure is £148,000.

The budget allocation is for all classified and unclassified, urban and rural roads.

The county council says that, once reported, the target date for the repair of a pothole is 30 days – in line with other councils.

But where a high risk pothole is reported on a main road, the target time for repair is three days.

To report a pothole contact Lancashire County Council’s service centre on 0845 053 0011 or e-mail at enquiries@lancashire.gov.uk