MOTORISTS in East Lancashire are set to share from a £4.2m annual boost in the wake of the HS2 high speed rail line axing.

Government transport chiefs have announced a major roads resurfacing investment programme which will benefit Blackburn with Darwen and the wider Lancashire County Council areas.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has unveiled the funding as part of a £1.2bn 'Network North' initiative, promoted to offset complaints about HS2's demise.

Whitehall officials have calculated an investment of around £19m will be made in north west roads as a result of the cash.

And the government says this also follows allocations for local transport, road and rail budgets in the last Spending Review.

Mr Harper said: "Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists, from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys.

"Our £1.2bn boost to repair roads across the North West shows that we’re on the side of drivers. (This) biggest-ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips - as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”

Blackburn with Darwen will receive an 'uplift' of £306,000 for 2023-24 and 2024-25 as part of an indicative £20.44m package to 2033-34.

Lancashire, which covers Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale, is to get £3.66m for this year and next in 'uplifts' as part of an overall spend of £244.5m over the next decade.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added: “For too long politicians have shied away from taking the right long-term decisions to make life easier for hardworking families - tackling the scourge of potholes being a prime example.

“Well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.

“This unprecedented...,investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.”

RAC policy head Simon Williams said: “Drivers’ biggest bugbear of all is the poor condition of local roads, so the fact the Government has found a significant additional pot of revenue should give councils the certainty of funding they need to plan proper long-term road maintenance, something we have been calling for many years.

“We hope local authorities will use the money in the most effective way possible by resurfacing the very worst roads, keeping those in reasonable condition in better states for longer through surface dressing, and filling potholes as permanently as possible wherever necessary."