Fewer Lancaster roads need repairing this year

Pot holes on Wyresdale Road on the way to Quernmore from Lancaster.
Pot holes on Wyresdale Road on the way to Quernmore from Lancaster.

Lancashire County Council report says multiple roads have been improved across the area despite major damage caused by flooding last winter.

New figures show the percentage of the highways network needing maintenance has fallen by 35 per cent over the last two years, with the condition of the roads improving across all 12 of Lancashire’s districts.

This means that compared with 2014, 416 fewer kilometres of the highway network were in need of repair.

In 2014, 48 per cent of roads in Lancaster did not need maintenance, with 41 per cent of roads needing minor maintenance and 11 per cent of roads needing major maintenance.

In Lancaster this year 66 per cent of roads do not need maintenance, 29 per cent of roads need minor maintenance and 4.6 per cent of roads need major maintenance.

This figures follows the introduction of Lancashire County Council’s Transport Asset Management Plan (TAMP), which brought in a fresh approach to maintaining the state of roads, street lights, traffic signals, bridges and other vital structures.

The 15-year plan focuses on improving aging infrastructure with a reduced budget.

A video survey to check the state of the highways network has been carried out over the last 12 months. It provided forward, backward, footpath and carriageway facing images at 50cm intervals across all 2,567km of Lancashire’s highways.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The results are very encouraging with evidence that we’ve made marked improvements over the last two years.

“People may not always notice or perceive that there has been an improvement in the roads. Last winter was particularly tough on the network but these results show that our more targeted approach is paying dividends in improving the overall state of our highways.

“The video survey is a good snapshot of where we are at the moment. It shows we’ve made good progress towards tackling problems in priority areas and taking action to prevent defects such as potholes occurring in the first place.”

The TAMP prioritises revamping particular parts of the network during each of three phases, which will result in everything being improved, and maintenance backlogs slashed, by 2029/30.

The first five-year phase is focusing on improving A, B and C roads and pavements, the second phase will target residential and rural unclassified roads, and the third phase will tackle bridges, street lights and traffic signals. By targeting more investment at certain parts of Lancashire’s infrastructure during each priority phase, the condition of that part of the network will be improved and cost less to maintain in the long run.

County Councillor Fillis said: “When we introduced the TAMP, we moved to a ‘prevention instead of cure’ approach and the survey shows the new way of working is paying off.

“However, we are only two years into a 15 year plan, and with more than 2,500 km of roads and hundreds of bridges and street lights to maintain, this is a huge project.”