THE man in charge of Lancashire’s roads has resigned after an 'horrific winter' which saw furious rows about gritting and potholes.

Coun Keith Young, cabinet member for highways, said he had become 'permanently tired out' and wanted to spend more time with his family.

The Tory councillor was at the heart of the gritting saga over the winter, as County Hall bosses faced criticism for their tactics and low salt stocks.

He said: “Things were getting unsustainable. My wife and I decided it was time to ease off, and the only way I could do that was by giving up my cabinet job.

“I am the wrong side of 70 and I shouldn’t be charging around the way I do.”

Tory council leader Geoff Driver said he had accepted his colleague's resignation with 'sadness' and had not yet decided on his replacement.

Coun Young added: “I have not fallen out with Geoff, or with the cabinet, it’s just time to step down.”

In December and January, gritters were told to stick to so-called 'priority routes' in an attempt to keep the road network moving, while some rural communities, such as Cow Ark in the Forest of Bowland, were cut off.

Labour Hyndburn MP Graham Jones, who is also a county councillor, said: "It is no surprise that Keith Young has resigned.

"Last year was the worst service the county has provided in decades.

"It was a shambles from start to finish.

"Keith Young decided he was going to make all the decisions and at least he has done the decent thing and fallen on his own sword."

Coun Young dismissed the criticism as “political rhetoric”.

Coun Driver said: "Keith has been a valued member of the Cabinet and I fully understand and respect his decision, which I accept with sadness."