Proposed £5.6m Boost for Lancashire’s Roads and Public Spaces
Lancashire County Council’s cabinet is to consider proposals for how an extra £5.6m will be used to improve road surfaces, help prevent flooding and ensure public areas look neat and tidy.
The council’s new administration has committed to boost funding for highways to prevent potholes, and increase drain cleaning, grass cutting and maintenance of roadside verges and planted beds.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Lancashire’s roads are vital to our economy, ensuring people and goods can travel efficiently, and it’s essential that we prioritise funding accordingly to keep them in good condition.
“Keeping up public areas is important to everyone’s sense of pride, as well as ensuring visitors and potential investors get a good impression of Lancashire.
“Reducing flood risk and increasing our resilience to flooding has become an increasing priority following weather events over recent years, and we’re also investing more to ensure our road drains are well-maintained and ready to carry surface water away.”
A report to the cabinet outlines proposed criteria to allocate the extra funding, which was previously approved as part of the council’s revised budget for 2017/18. It includes:
- £3m for planned highways maintenance – the first phase of the council’s 15-year strategy to improve the overall condition of highways has focused investment on improving the main A, B and C roads, ensuring they have fewer potholes and will cost less to maintain in future. This new funding is proposed to help improve residential roads which have received less investment in recent years.
- £1m to ensure the council can respond more quickly to make timely minor repairs where needed rather than wait until a road needs more major maintenance.
- £1m to prevent potholes appearing by ensuring that running repairs to potholes extend to cover other damage in the immediate area, reducing the need for repeat visits.
- £300,000 to reduce flood risk by increasing the council’s ability to respond quickly to clear blocked drains and pipes without interrupting the day-to-day regular maintenance programme. It is also proposed to introduce regular maintenance of trash screens which help to keep culverted water courses free of debris.
- £330,000 to increase grass cutting from 2 to 4 cuts a year on verges alongside high-speed roads, and increase from 5 to 8 cuts a year in other public areas maintained by the council. Regular spraying will also help to keep down weeds, replacing the current practice of spot treating them, and there will be more maintenance of certain planted beds and borders in city and town centres.
The county council’s cabinet will meet on Thursday 10 August to consider the proposals.