Cabinet to consider £20m investment in highways
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Lancashire County Council's cabinet is to consider a major programme of investment in vital transport infrastructure including roads, streetlights, and bridges as part of a package worth more than £20m over the next year.
It includes £11.7m to resurface roads and prevent potholes appearing, with the county's highways teams already carrying out patching work in preparation to start resurfacing as soon as Spring appears.
This adds to significant resources already made available to the county council's highways teams to ensure they can make timely repairs to potholes throughout the year.
Over £4.2m of this funding is proposed for bringing residential roads into good condition, including over £200k for resurfacing Hargreaves Road and surrounding streets in Oswaldtwistle, more than £100k for a section of Grafton Street in Pendle, over £112k to renew part of Levens Drive in Morecambe, and more than £130k to resurface a section of Waterbarn Street in Burnley.
£2m has been allocated to Lancashire's busiest A, B and C roads, including over £220k for maintaining the A587 Rossall Road/Broadway between Cleveleys and Fleetwood, more than £228k to resurface part of the B5248 North Road in Chorley, and over 198k to improve a stretch of the A5085 Blackpool Road in Preston.
£2m has been set aside to improve rural routes, with a further £350,000 proposed for rural 'moss roads' in West Lancashire and Wyre which need special maintenance due to the wet and peaty ground they're built upon. £750k is also set to be invested in keeping pavements safe and tidy.
The highways capital programme is revealed in a new report to the county council's cabinet which meets on Thursday 3 March. It also includes £3.5m for maintenance to bridges and other vital structures such as retaining walls, £1m for repairs to streetlights, £600,000 to upgrade traffic signals and £1m for roadside safety barriers. A further £500,000 will be invested in improving drainage, helping to protect our roads from Lancashire's wet weather.
The report outlines that the county council will be saving 267 tonnes of carbon by using recycled rather than new materials to maintain roads where appropriate, which is equivalent to taking 116 cars off the road for a year.
The proposed highways programme is based on a conservative estimate of an assumed level of funding from the Department for Transport, and a further round of investment may be presented to cabinet once the allocation is confirmed. Lancashire expects to receive the higher 'band 3' level of funding available to councils which can show they use the DfT's recommended approach to maintenance based on the principle that 'prevention is better than cure'.
County Councillor Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Our roads and supporting transport infrastructure are essential to our everyday lives and our economy, and keeping them in good condition is one of the county council's biggest responsibilities.
"We've seen plenty of Lancashire's typically wet and cold weather over recent weeks, which makes maintaining our roads a constant challenge, and why I'm very pleased that we have the resources available to make timely repairs, and focus on our long-term goal of improving the overall condition of our highways so that they cost less to maintain in future.
"Our highways teams are already busy with some of the structural repairs which need to be made before they can carry out surfacing treatments, and the programme of investment to be considered by cabinet will see much more activity in the coming weeks as the weather improves.
"We are paying ever closer attention to how we can reduce our impact on the environment, and we will be making a significant saving in C02 over the next year, with more to come in future as our highway teams continue to build on their experience of using recycled materials."