NO FEWER than 82 roads will be tackled during the course of the next financial year to finally eliminate Blackburn – and Darwen’s – famous potholes, council bosses have confirmed.

Ever since the Beatles sang about ‘4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire’, the town has been plagued by its reputation for potholes and dips, causing misery to motorists.


But the final round of a £17.5million programme to redress the balance for at least the next 20 years, will swing into action from next April.

And at least 40 of the schemes will be in Darwen, with 13 initiatives in the Marsh House area alone, and a further 11 across Sudell ward, and seven more in Sunnyhurst.

Another 33 schemes, including refurbishment of the whole Pinewood Estate, off Livesey Branch Road, and 110 metres of Cicely Lane to Salford, are included on a reserve list.

Some of the larger roads will see more than one stretch repaired or relaid.

In a report, Cllr Jim Smith, executive member for the environment, said: “The network recovery programme was approved in July 2013 to arrest several years of decline caused by underfunding.”

The fourth year costs of the works will be £2.67million, incorporating design and management elements totalling £151,479. One scheme for 2014-15 for Aqueduct Road may over-run to next March.

Originally the council, which borrowed £6.5million for the overall initiative, began the potholes drive in 2013 by instigating urgent repairs to Whalley Old Road, Whalley New Road and Preston Old Road.

Some of the upgrades will complement the ongoing Pennine Reach bus lane programme and the work brought forward to tackle the ‘pinch point’ at Guide, according to the report.

Councillors have been warned though that predicted budget cuts could compromise the authority’s ability to reap the full reward of the four-year programme in future.