EXTRA government cash granted last month is being used to upgrade temporary pothole repairs in Blackburn with Darwen.

The latest hot Tarmac technology will run alongside the borough’s £17.5million four-year project to resurface main routes and other rapidly deteriorating roads.

A year ago, the council’s executive board authorised borrowing £6.5million to pay for the Highway Recovery scheme to eradicate the borough’s 100-mile highway repair backlog by 2017.

Seven weeks ago David Cameron announced Blackburn with Darwen Council will receive £283,423 extra this year – enough for 5,000 potholes.

Last night borough highway boss Jim Smith revealed the cash is being spent on returning to using hot Tarmac to make emergency repairs to the worst cavities.

He made the announcement after Lib Dem group leader David Foster questioned the quality of repairs on Epworth Street in his ward in Whitehall, Darwen.

Coun Smith said: “The scheme has been running for 12 months and is starting to have a real effect. This means we have staff available to tackle emergency pothole repairs better than we have been doing.

“Some years ago we abandoned using hot Tarmac to fill them, but there is now a new version of the technology to make better use of it. I had a look at the situation and we have the extra money granted in June to afford to upgrade emergency repairs. “It will supplement the main four-year programme.

“We will be cutting round the worst potholes and using the new ‘hot Tarmac strip’ method to do better and longer lasting emergency repairs.” The combination of the two schemes should reduce the council’s bill in compensation to motorists with damaged cars and ensure the borough’s 350-mile road network is fit for another 20 years by 2017.

By July last year an average of 1,000 ‘safety risk’ potholes were being repaired each month at a cost of £50,000, leaving hundreds untreated. Coun Foster said: “This is welcome. I shall be checking that the roads are properly inspected, the right potholes are repaired and they are repaired to high standards.”