County cash can help tackle port potholes

Campaigner John Warnock has welcomed new Lancashire County Council moves to tackle potholes in Fleetwood.
Campaigner John Warnock has welcomed new Lancashire County Council moves to tackle potholes in Fleetwood.

Increased efforts to tackle potholes in Lancashire has been welcomed in Fleetwood.

Lancashire County Council has substantially increased the number of teams dedicated to fixing potholes to tackle the legacy of road damage caused by one of the wettest winters on record.

Over the last three weeks highways bosses have bought in 29 extra teams from external contractors to support their existing 24 crews.

It comes after an announcement that the authority is to get a share of a £50m government pot to repair potholes - Lancashire, responsible for roads in Wyre and Fylde – will get £1.24m.

John Warnock, an ex-Fleetwood Town Council member who has often campaigned to get poor road surfaces in the town repaired and improved, said: “This is welcome news, because we do have pothole problems in our areas.

“I just hope that the way in which are roads are repaired is better than simply patching and I hope Wyre gets its fair share of help.

“The area of Poulton Road, near the former Barneys Bingo, has been particularly bad of late, and Hatfield Avenue also has problems too.

“There are similar issues in parts of Cleveleys.

“The extra funds and bigger teams to tackle this is promising.”

The scale of the damage caused by the prolonged wet weather is revealed by records showing that 7,808 defects were found in February, and 7,346 in March, whereas only around 5,000 a month are usually found at the height of winter.

Phil Durnell, head of highways for Lancashire County Council, said: “The exceptionally wet weather over the winter has had a very severe impact on our roads, particularly the storms at the end of last year, when the damage caused was immediately obvious once the floods receded.

“These conditions created the perfect environment for potholes – they form when water gets into minute cracks in the road surface, and the freezing and thawing caused by the cold temperatures make the crack widen until a hole appears.

“This has resulted in far more potholes than we usually get at this time of year. Our teams have been working flat-out over the last few months, but there’s a limit to the number of repairs they can do each week.

“The wet weather has made progress more difficult due to the potholes being full of water – they need to be dried out, and this increases the time it take to make a repair.”