Government figures show that the 36 shire counties were only able to spend £20,885 per mile on road repairs, pothole filling, and constructing new junctions and networks last year. In contrast, the 31 councils in London are able to spend £62,350 per mile. The 36 urban metropolitan councils spent £41,929 per mile, while England’s eight ‘core cities’ are in a position to invest £57,241 per mile.
It comes as no surprise to People of West Lancashire that there has been under investment in their roads. The Governments own figures show that counties like Lancashire were only able to spend £20,885 per mile on road repairs, pothole filling, and constructing new junctions and networks last year. In contrast, the 31 councils in London are able to spend £62,350 per mile. The 36 urban metropolitan councils spent £41,929 per mile, while England’s eight ‘core cities’ are in a position to invest £57,241 per mile.
Cllr John Fillis, Labour Deputy Leader, said “This is a Conservative County Council and a Conservative government. Together they are underinvesting in Lancashire’s roads and don’t we all know it.”
The Transport Asset Management Plan introduced by the previous Labour Administration moved away from the old “worst first system” to “defect prevention” and began the roll out its “surface dressing” programme.
During this period of time the Conservative Government identified Lancashire as being in the top 3 councils in the country for highways maintenances, reaching all the repair target set. Resulting in the council being awarded the highest government band 3 funding.
The Conservative Administration’s own Transport Asset Management figures reported that the roads had improved under the Labour Administration.
Cllr John Fillis said “What we were able to do provided a solid foundation to build our highway network on. What the Conservatives have been doing is manipulating the figures and systematic manipulation to suppress the reporting of potholes and the repairs required.”
Lancashire County Council only met 50% of their pothole repair targets.
Lancashire residents have been restricted to report potholes, which used to have multiple access points to the “Report It” section of the authority’s website. The number of potholes has not gone down, the figure show the number of reported potholes that have gone down 62,000 in 2016/17 to around 39,000 in 2018/19.
The new “Report it” system requires members of the public to stand in the road and measure the size of the pothole.
This is why the volume of successful claims made against County Hall for damage to vehicles travelling on its road network more than doubled in the past twelve months to almost 650 – costing the council £176,000 in pay-outs. Much of the claimed new funding has merely been roll over from previous years, if spent at the right time this would have prevented many of the financial claims against the council.
Cllr John Fillis, said “We recognise the excellent work being undertaken by our staff in repairing the roads and that the TAMP will improve the roads in the long term if financially supported. However the Conservatives our using this hard work to cover up for the underfunding of our highways in Lancashire. Lancashire needs real investment in its road network, the People of Lancashire deserve better.”