A ‘collapse’ in repairs to potholes across Preston and Lancashire has been highlighted by Labour councillors across the county.Advertisement
Figures released by Lancashire County Council show two-thirds of potholes have been fixed within 20 working days in the 2017-2018 financial year.
The county Labour group say this compared with 97 per cent of potholes being repaired within 20 working days when they were in charge at County Hall.
Shadow cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor Erica Lewis said: “Residents of Lancashire are rightly outraged at the state of Lancashire’s roads. We know that people have been injured and residents have faced extra costs in repairs to bicycles, motorbikes and cars.
“These figures are appalling. In the last year of the previous administration 97 per cent of potholes were repaired within 20 working days. Within just 14 months the Conservative administration pothole response has collapsed to 64 per cent, a fall of approximately a third.
“The standard excuse from the current administration is to blame winter, but winter comes every year, and the rate of repairs fell again in April to 56 per cent. This is a serious failure of the chaotic Conservative County council to deliver services for local people. Excuses are not good enough, especially when they increased council tax by 6 per cent this year and the Conservative voted against the £5 million extra funding proposed by Labour specifically to provide permanent pothole repairs.
“Most councils would say that there was more they could do on potholes, Lancashire was doing more and now people are being asked to pay more for less. But the comparison based
on their figures between Labour’s 97 per cent and the Conservatives 66 per cent of fixing potholes in 20 working days speaks for itself. When you also consider that Labour repaired 21,601 more
potholes then the Conservative excuses really are pathetic.”
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Blog Preston approached Lancashire County Council for their response to why the repair times had fallen.
Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor Keith Iddon said: “The damage to our roads caused by the colder than average and prolonged winter has taken some time to get on top of. Using injection patching teams to find and fix potholes and repair them quickly is making a difference, and it’s clear to see the roads are in better condition. We’re making the most of the current good weather to get on with our annual maintenance programme of resurfacing and surface dressing.
“Despite the drop in performance in responding to potholes within 20 days over the past financial year, this has now substantially improved and was up to 86% in June, close to our target of 90%.
“The drop in performance was due to a number of factors, including the severe winter which led to our resources being stretched.
“The main reason was that we have been replacing several systems for managing all aspects of highway management with one system, to reduce administration and ensure things are done more efficiently in future.
“This had an impact on operational productivity while people were trained to use the new system and teething problems were dealt with. We’re still working through some issues, however when fully up to speed it will mean we can manage our highways more effectively and people receive a better service when they report a problem.”
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