A COUNCIL has been given £1.265million to repair potholes and upgrade its roads by the government.

The cash almost doubles Blackburn with Darwen Council's highway repair and maintenance budget.

The new grant will be spent across the borough but the first location to benefit will be Tockholes Road, in Tockholes which will be surface dressed over its full length this month.

The money forms part of £1.7 billion awarded to councils for 2020/21 through the Department for Transport’s newly-created Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The additional award will enable the council to continue to fix more potholes and other defects whilst undertaking extra preventative work to stop potholes forming.

The cash injection will be added to the council’s 2020/21 highways repair and maintenance budget of £1.878m - giving a total of £3.143m for this financial year.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s highways boss, said: “Funding like this is vital for us to be able to make a real difference to our roads."

Cllr John Slater, leader of the borough Conservative group, said: "This is good news."

Councillor Brian Taylor, whose Darwen West ward includes Tockholes, said: “We have been campaigning for many years to have the repair works undertaken on Tockholes Road and so this funding boost is music to our ears!

“We know it’s been an issue for residents for some time and so to receive this funding and be able to use it so quickly is just fantastic.”

The repairs at Tockholes will be the first to be undertaken with further improvements across the borough to be completed this year.

Cllr Riley said: “This means we can almost double the amount we can invest in the improvements in the coming months and I know this will be very much welcomed by our residents.

“Our Highways Team works incredibly hard and have continued to do so throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They have been undertaking repairs during lockdown, including to potholes, as well as work on major improvement schemes, including the one at Barbara Castle Way."

Cllr Slater said: "This grant shows that the government is continuing to invest in local government despite Labour's claims about austerity. It is good news for Blackburn with Darwen's road which are some of the worst in East Lancashire."