NEARLY £6million is being invested in East Lancashire’s roads, bridges, street-lighting, cycling and walking roadways and flood prevention.

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet agreed a major programme for improving vital transport infrastructure in a deal worth £45.8m over the next year.

One of the biggest road resurfacing projects will be in Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle, and surrounding areas.

A total of £546,979 will be spent, with £275,444 allocated for work on 18 roads including Union Road, Aspen Road, Stanhill Lane and Brecon Avenue, while £271,535 is for Thwaites Road and Blackburn Road.

The overall package includes £30.3m to resurface roads and prevent potholes appearing following spells of cold weather.

Cllr Peter Britcliffe, who represents the area, said: “Roads have been under-funded for years so I am pleased with the amounts of money going into the repairs, especially in Oswaldtwistle.

“I have battled to get works done in the area and there are a lot more that need to be done but I welcome the news of improving the roads in Oswaldtwistle.

“I think it sends out a signal to residents that the county council is trying to improve the roads.

“There was some work done on Windsor Road and Fielding Lane last year and I am sure there will be more done soon.”

Elsewhere, the biggest bridges scheme is in Burnley Central East ward, where £520,000 has been set aside for works on the Curzon Street bridge for strengthening and widening work. A further £345,000 will be given for structural maintenance to bridges, footbridges and retaining walls in Pendle, Burnley, Hyndburn, Rossendale and Ribble Valley when required.

County Cllr Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We know that roads are a big priority for residents and businesses, and while the cold winter has had an impact on our roads, this investment programme will ensure that timely repairs will take place and many new surfaces will be laid over the warmer months to come.

“I’m very pleased that we’re in a position to invest so much in the next year thanks to some extra funding received from government, and good management of the county council’s finances over recent years.

“By following the principle that prevention is better than cure, which is at the heart of our Transport Asset Management Plan, and maintaining investment levels over many years, the condition of our infrastructure is gradually improving, which will help to reduce the level of defects such as potholes in the future.

"Being able to demonstrate good management of our assets also means we have received an extra £3.2m from the Department for Transport’s incentive fund for the coming year.

“We added an extra £17m to the budget in February, which will help to keep this plan on track as well as helping to make our roads more resilient to extreme weather.

“This, along with the government funding we still need to allocate, will also help to tackle priorities which emerge over the coming months, and we’ll now be working to assess where it’s most needed.”

The programme also includes £2m for improvements to walking and cycling networks.

Cllr Iddon added: “In many ways the lockdowns over the past year have shown the potential for our walking and cycling networks with many more people using them to get out and about in their local area.

“It’s important that we invest in walking and cycling to make these options more attractive for everyday travel, and we will continue to improve our existing roads and paths as well as taking opportunities to add to and extend them.”