Crash risk warning over highways cuts in Lancashire

A former council transport chief has warned the cuts could lead to more traffic accidents
A former council transport chief has warned the cuts could lead to more traffic accidents

A decision to slash the budget for renewing road signs and highway markings in Lancashire will put lives at risk, critics claim.

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Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has approved a £500,000 cut in the funding for renewal work.

The savings will mean leaving some signs and lines on county roads faded and harder to see.

A report to councillors warned a lower standard of service ‘could increase the risk of collisions’.

Council chiefs say warning signs will be maintained ‘where there is evidence of a significant casualty record’ but a former cabinet member for highways called the decision an ‘absolute disgrace’.

At this Thursday’s full meeting of the county council, deputy Labour leader County Coun John Fillis – a former transport chief – will call for the decision to be reversed.

He said he will ask cabinet member for highways, Tory County Coun Keith Iddon, how many people must die or be seriously injured to establish the ‘significant casualty record’.

He said: “Significant casualty record means people will have to be killed or seriously injured before the council will do anything.”

Coun Iddon said an extra £5m was being spent on road maintenance in 2017/18 and many road markings are being replaced as part of the current road-resurfacing programme.

He said: “The council’s financial situation is extremely challenging and it’s vital that we put the organisation on a more stable footing to protect frontline services and allow us to invest in the services people value most.”