'Pothole epidemic' causes misery for East Lancashire motorists

Lancashire Telegraph: Drivers are facing hazards, including this pothole in Sandiway Drive, Harle Syke Drivers are facing hazards, including this pothole in Sandiway Drive, Harle Syke

A ‘POTHOLE epidemic’ is causing misery for East Lancashire motorists and millions of pounds in repair costs, campaigners say.

An extra 6,000 potholes have been reported to the county council this winter due to the harsh weather conditions.

And an independent watchdog has warned unless more permanent repairs are carried out, motorists will face a ‘Third World road network’.

One highways chief blamed ‘shrinking council budgets and a deteriorating network’ on the shock rise.

Harle Syke resident John Clough, of Sandiway Drive, said the number of potholes in the area was unacceptable.

He said: “They are always cropping up round here because the water drains off the field behind the houses and lifts the road surface.

“Surely the council should have wised up to it by now and they should be ready for it when it happens.

“I’m not sure they do a good job either as if they were fixed properly they wouldn’t keep reappearing.

“At the moment there is a big one on the road as you go up towards Briercliffe Social Club.

“It needs sorting as they can cause real damage to cars going over them over and over again.”

In Nelson, a motorist spotted a five foot wide pothole in Back Lane.

According to independent watchdog Potholes.co.uk, the driver, called Gerry H, said: "I hit the mother of all pot holes travelling at 30mph in a Ford Fiesta, destroying the nearside front wheel, tyre and suspension. Estimated vehicle repair costs and recovery costs £768 plus VAT. I reported the pothole to the council. While I awaited recovery two lots of people stopped to offer assisstance and all said the pot hole had been in this state for at least three months. Not amused."

Other pothole-plagued roads in Burnley include Widow Hill Road, which leads to the new recycling plant in the town, and the Gannow Top roundabout.

In Rawtenstall potholes have been seen in Barritt Road and Haworth Avenue.

And a large pothole has appeared just outside the entrance of Wycoller Country Park.

Potholes.co.uk spokesman Duncan McClure Fisher said: “The pothole epidemic is the direct result of years of under-investment in our roads by the Government.

“Temporary fixes have just escalated the problem over the years and our highways have now got more holes than Swiss cheese.

“Unless more permanent repair materials and methods are adopted immediately, we may never again be able to get through a winter without having to contend with a Third World road network.”

Potholes are estimated to cause as many as one in five mechanical failures on East Lancashire’s roads.

From April 2011 to March 2012 Lancashire County Council paid out compensation of £52,799 for damage to vehicles from potholes.

According to the Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils including Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, many authorities will find it almost impossible to keep on top of road repairs if they are stripped of funding due to budget cuts.

The LGA said that the Department for Transport reductions to the highways maintenance budget for councils, would lead to an average 19 per cent drop by 2014/15.

But County Councillor Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said the county council budget would not be cut.

He said: "We have no intention of reducing the amount we spend on road repairs, particularly in light of the recent harsh winters, which mean we've repaired an extra 6,000 potholes a year.

“In the four years of the current administration, the county council has invested £32.5m in highway maintenance, in addition to the funding it gets from the government specifically for roads.

“This adds up to spending £205m in total over the four years to maintain our roads and footways.

Coun Dave Harling, Executive Member for Regeneration for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “The council spends hundreds of thousands of pounds every year maintaining the highway and fixing potholes across the borough.

“Clearly with shrinking council budgets and a deteriorating network the task is becoming more difficult."

Farmers' plea over country road repairs

A GROUP representing farmers and rural businesses is urging local councils in the region not to cut back on repairs to minor routes damaged by recent freezing temperatures, rain and snow.

With councils across the region facing severe budget cuts, The Country Land and Business Association believes minor roads provide a vital lifeline for rural businesses and need to be well maintained.

CLA North regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Freezing conditions always herald the start of the pothole season and while local councils are usually quick to repair damage to major roads they are often more tardy in their approach to minor routes.

“As the ongoing austerity measures continue to bite, we are seriously concerned that cash-starved councils will be tempted to further neglect rural roads, which are a key part of the infrastructure that underpins the rural economy.”

She added: “In the current economic climate rural businesses cannot afford to be further disadvantaged by having to pay hefty repair bills for vehicles damaged by potholes that should have been dealt with by the local council.”

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “All reports of potholes are dealt with on the same basis irrespective of the type of road so there’s no question of neglecting rural roads.”

Garage owner John Hargreaves who runs a car repair garage AAA Auto Services on Crosse Hall Street, Chorley, said that in recent months he had seen pothole damage more frequently.
He said: “Both myself and colleagues in the industry are seeing more and more damage come in from vehicles being affected by potholes.

“Problems can range from tyre, suspension and bodywork damage to exhausts and sumps becoming cracked or detached.”

Chairman of Blackburn Hackney Carriage Association Mohammed Younis said: “My members are increasing concerned about the state of roads throughout East Lancashire.

“The wet weather over months and months has seen potholes opening up on roads and drivers are reporting damage to their cabs. It’s worse at night as it’s much harder to see the potholes in the dark.”

Comments (14)

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10:55am Mon 4 Feb 13

cloud99 says...

The one in the picture is nothing compared to some i've seen. When you turn off the A59 going towards Barnoldswick, there is an "S" bend and the pothole in the side of the road is that big, unless you want to wreck your tyres, you have to go onto the other side of the road to avoid it.
The one in the picture is nothing compared to some i've seen. When you turn off the A59 going towards Barnoldswick, there is an "S" bend and the pothole in the side of the road is that big, unless you want to wreck your tyres, you have to go onto the other side of the road to avoid it. cloud99

11:43am Mon 4 Feb 13

shytalk says...

Anyone know why we pay our road tax? I am British but live in Ukraine some of the time. My friends there do not believe me when i tell them that roads in Lancashire are in a worse state than in Ukraine.
Cuts and redundancies have been made by councils due to nasty government policies, but now we have bodgit and scarper repairing roads ( Badly ) which is going to cost more in the long run. Short sighted councils can not see they are going to be open to legal claims for damaged vehicles, will eventually need to employ proper people to completley re surface roads, and in the meantime the risk of people getting killed increases by the day. Instead of the government spending billions on new rail networks, perhaps they should look at repairing dangerous roads instead.
Anyone know why we pay our road tax? I am British but live in Ukraine some of the time. My friends there do not believe me when i tell them that roads in Lancashire are in a worse state than in Ukraine. Cuts and redundancies have been made by councils due to nasty government policies, but now we have bodgit and scarper repairing roads ( Badly ) which is going to cost more in the long run. Short sighted councils can not see they are going to be open to legal claims for damaged vehicles, will eventually need to employ proper people to completley re surface roads, and in the meantime the risk of people getting killed increases by the day. Instead of the government spending billions on new rail networks, perhaps they should look at repairing dangerous roads instead. shytalk

12:01pm Mon 4 Feb 13

frank says...

The cyclists touring club have this website for reporting craters in the road. www.fillthathole.org
.uk
It's there for anyone to use to make the roads safer.
The cyclists touring club have this website for reporting craters in the road. www.fillthathole.org .uk It's there for anyone to use to make the roads safer. frank

12:22pm Mon 4 Feb 13

useyourhead says...

Roads that were re surfaced only four or five years ago are failing already in Great Harwood. poor workmanship and/materials.
Roads that were re surfaced only four or five years ago are failing already in Great Harwood. poor workmanship and/materials. useyourhead

12:32pm Mon 4 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

The misery that potholes cause motorists is nothing to the misery they cause cyclists.
The misery that potholes cause motorists is nothing to the misery they cause cyclists. happycyclist

12:34pm Mon 4 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

shytalk wrote:
Anyone know why we pay our road tax? I am British but live in Ukraine some of the time. My friends there do not believe me when i tell them that roads in Lancashire are in a worse state than in Ukraine.
Cuts and redundancies have been made by councils due to nasty government policies, but now we have bodgit and scarper repairing roads ( Badly ) which is going to cost more in the long run. Short sighted councils can not see they are going to be open to legal claims for damaged vehicles, will eventually need to employ proper people to completley re surface roads, and in the meantime the risk of people getting killed increases by the day. Instead of the government spending billions on new rail networks, perhaps they should look at repairing dangerous roads instead.
Motorists would only complain if there WAS a 'road tax'.
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Anyone know why we pay our road tax? I am British but live in Ukraine some of the time. My friends there do not believe me when i tell them that roads in Lancashire are in a worse state than in Ukraine. Cuts and redundancies have been made by councils due to nasty government policies, but now we have bodgit and scarper repairing roads ( Badly ) which is going to cost more in the long run. Short sighted councils can not see they are going to be open to legal claims for damaged vehicles, will eventually need to employ proper people to completley re surface roads, and in the meantime the risk of people getting killed increases by the day. Instead of the government spending billions on new rail networks, perhaps they should look at repairing dangerous roads instead.[/p][/quote]Motorists would only complain if there WAS a 'road tax'. happycyclist

1:42pm Mon 4 Feb 13

shytalk says...

happycyclist wrote:
shytalk wrote:
Anyone know why we pay our road tax? I am British but live in Ukraine some of the time. My friends there do not believe me when i tell them that roads in Lancashire are in a worse state than in Ukraine.
Cuts and redundancies have been made by councils due to nasty government policies, but now we have bodgit and scarper repairing roads ( Badly ) which is going to cost more in the long run. Short sighted councils can not see they are going to be open to legal claims for damaged vehicles, will eventually need to employ proper people to completley re surface roads, and in the meantime the risk of people getting killed increases by the day. Instead of the government spending billions on new rail networks, perhaps they should look at repairing dangerous roads instead.
Motorists would only complain if there WAS a 'road tax'.
Sorry happycyclist i forgot..Road tax is what is used to pay for the drives on expensive third world dictators homes which the government loves to pay for.
[quote][p][bold]happycyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Anyone know why we pay our road tax? I am British but live in Ukraine some of the time. My friends there do not believe me when i tell them that roads in Lancashire are in a worse state than in Ukraine. Cuts and redundancies have been made by councils due to nasty government policies, but now we have bodgit and scarper repairing roads ( Badly ) which is going to cost more in the long run. Short sighted councils can not see they are going to be open to legal claims for damaged vehicles, will eventually need to employ proper people to completley re surface roads, and in the meantime the risk of people getting killed increases by the day. Instead of the government spending billions on new rail networks, perhaps they should look at repairing dangerous roads instead.[/p][/quote]Motorists would only complain if there WAS a 'road tax'.[/p][/quote]Sorry happycyclist i forgot..Road tax is what is used to pay for the drives on expensive third world dictators homes which the government loves to pay for. shytalk

3:38pm Mon 4 Feb 13

prince of darkness says...

How many new cars drive on reduced road tax. Road tax should be for vehicles to travel on roads pay for repairs. The overloaded EU trucks cause damage pay nothing. They dont even buy diesel here, pay tax duty in UK. Should be a charge for vehicles coming into UK to drive on our roads. To top it all they want to add Toll roads.
How many new cars drive on reduced road tax. Road tax should be for vehicles to travel on roads pay for repairs. The overloaded EU trucks cause damage pay nothing. They dont even buy diesel here, pay tax duty in UK. Should be a charge for vehicles coming into UK to drive on our roads. To top it all they want to add Toll roads. prince of darkness

4:16pm Mon 4 Feb 13

mavrick says...

If we all made a claim for damage to vehicles and persons, I think they would mend the road very quickly. But as usual we won't we won't so there is no point in moaning
If we all made a claim for damage to vehicles and persons, I think they would mend the road very quickly. But as usual we won't we won't so there is no point in moaning mavrick

5:01pm Mon 4 Feb 13

guyvstonier says...

you think burnley and other places are bad you should try driving round rossendale theres almost atleast one big pothole on every street its stupid,because were only a small area we get overlooked i bet iv only ever seen the council doing actuall road repairs twice in 27 years its stupid, i bet if we didnt pay road tax we would get in so much trouble so why should they get away with not keeping roads in a good condition.
you think burnley and other places are bad you should try driving round rossendale theres almost atleast one big pothole on every street its stupid,because were only a small area we get overlooked i bet iv only ever seen the council doing actuall road repairs twice in 27 years its stupid, i bet if we didnt pay road tax we would get in so much trouble so why should they get away with not keeping roads in a good condition. guyvstonier

5:04pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Davelyn says...

Get the Job Seaker claimants to go round filling them in. Its about time they did something for there money. If they refuse stop paying them. This is a job after all.
Get the Job Seaker claimants to go round filling them in. Its about time they did something for there money. If they refuse stop paying them. This is a job after all. Davelyn

5:11pm Mon 4 Feb 13

lostforwords says...

Always plenty of money for speed bums, always plenty of money for ANPR cameras. Take the two poles at the top of Little Harwood most expensive bird perches in the worlds. You've got to laugh.
Always plenty of money for speed bums, always plenty of money for ANPR cameras. Take the two poles at the top of Little Harwood most expensive bird perches in the worlds. You've got to laugh. lostforwords

6:51pm Mon 4 Feb 13

phil kernot says...

The council gets payments off the government to maintain the roads , so you know what thay do ,so thay don't ave to hand it bck , what thay don't send , they go round taken up perfectly good kerb stones and replacing them like for like , why don't you fix the pot holes you set of thick **** ,,,
The council gets payments off the government to maintain the roads , so you know what thay do ,so thay don't ave to hand it bck , what thay don't send , they go round taken up perfectly good kerb stones and replacing them like for like , why don't you fix the pot holes you set of thick **** ,,, phil kernot

9:52pm Mon 4 Feb 13

clickhere says...

useyourhead wrote:
Roads that were re surfaced only four or five years ago are failing already in Great Harwood. poor workmanship and/materials.
I can confirm this. And not just side roads. Blackburn road comes to mind. and a main bus route, Russell Place. Both roads fully resurfaced in the past few years.
[quote][p][bold]useyourhead[/bold] wrote: Roads that were re surfaced only four or five years ago are failing already in Great Harwood. poor workmanship and/materials.[/p][/quote]I can confirm this. And not just side roads. Blackburn road comes to mind. and a main bus route, Russell Place. Both roads fully resurfaced in the past few years. clickhere

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