There is growing concerns that the Conservative cuts to highways at Lancashire County Council will affect future long term government funding, due to poor maintenance of the roads.
There was cross party support for Lancashire’s “Transport Asset Management Plan” (TAMP), introduced by the previous Labour Administration. This saw the council move from a worst first repair system to interventions that maintained roads predominantly through surface dressing, providing a life extension of 10 – 15 years. The TAMP gained national recognition as well as increased funding from the government. A major survey of all roads across Lancashire identified clear improvements in general road conditions.
In a report to the Cabinet Meeting on 7th March the Conservative Administration decided to cut Surface dressing and pre-patching from £2 million to £1.2 million a reduction of £800,000 or 40%.
Cllr John Fillis, Labour Deputy Leader said “We are currently in the government highest bracket for road funding, level 3. This is based on the way we maintain our roads. Technical information as to the road structure identifies when the road is ready for maintenance. The first year pre patching takes place, this is followed by surface dressing in the second year.”
“By creating such a delay the roads may have gone beyond its prime maintenance time to become a full resurfacing requirement. This will dramatically increase the cost of repairing the road going against the TAMP and government funding.”
“At present I’m sure most people will agree that the funding for roads in Lancashire is not enough. It’s clear that the action of the Conservative not only delays the roads being repaired but to jeopardise the future funding of our roads is reckless and without justification.”
“The Conservative underspent the last Highways Budget and they have already cut street light maintenance, signs, lines and now resurfacing. In the last 2 years people have seen their council tax increase by 10%, while there basic services are being cut, it’s disgraceful.”