New figures show that Lancashire County Council’s performance on potholes is continuing to improve, with the vast majority of defects being fixed within target timescales.
A report to the Cabinet Committee on Performance Improvement reveals that since closer ‘risk based’ monitoring of highway issues was brought in last Autumn, overall repair rates have kept getting better.
Condition surveys have shown a general improvement in Lancashire’s roads over recent years, coupled with a reduction in the number of potholes by 38% over the last two years. The biggest improvements have been on busy A, B, and C roads which have seen most investment – there will be a greater focus on residential and rural roads in coming years under the council’s long-term transport strategy.
The council has also been running a campaign over the summer encouraging people to report potholes online to help speed up the repair process.
Now it is asking people to say whether they’ve noticed the difference by completing an independent online survey.
The National Highways and Transport Survey is used by all UK councils to get a better understanding of how they are performing in the eyes of the public, and where they should focus future improvements.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Wear and tear and bad weather means we’ll always get potholes, and like all councils we have to set limits on what we repair.
“At the same time, we’re investing as much as we can in improving Lancashire’s roads, and are planning to spend over £24m on maintenance this year.
“We’re now coming towards the end of another summer where our highways teams have been very busy replacing worn out surfaces and making preventative treatments to help our roads better withstand the demands of traffic and winter weather.
“We’ve been investing more in preventative maintenance for a number of years, and inspections, surveys, and performance data suggest that this is making a difference with an improvement in the overall condition of our roads. We’re also getting better at meeting our own targets to carry out timely repairs when they’re needed.
“But we’re also keen to know what people think of our highways service. Besides investing in the roads, we’ve been working hard to improve people’s experience when they report a pothole or other problem.
“We’re interested to know whether people think it’s made a difference, and what we need to focus on improving in future.
“We’re also grateful for people using our online Report It system to tell us about potholes or any other highway issue, as this helps us to assess the problem quickly and take appropriate action.”
The council’s consistent approach to road maintenance over recent years, focused on using survey data to inform timely preventative repairs, has resulted in a decrease in over a third in the number of potholes being found. 38% fewer were found by highways inspectors or reported by the public in 2018/19 (39,137) compared with two years earlier in 2016/17 (62,564). The council is responsible for 4,600 miles of roads and 5,300 miles of pavement. Find out more at www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads.
You can complete the National Highways and Transport satisfaction survey at www.nhtnetwork.co.uk/isolated/data/scorecard/new/bespoke/122