Town Hall bosses are so concerned about being sued for compensation they have been patching up pot-holes just days before a road was due to be completely resurfaced.
Residents on Seafield Road and Cambray Road, North Shore, were astonished to see holes being filled on Saturday and Tuesday of last week, despite the fact they had been informed the council would be ripping up the carriageway as soon as this week.
Both roads are due to be resurfaced as part of the council’s Project 30 scheme to repair roads across the town.
Residents slammed the decision as a “waste of money”, but highways chiefs today said they were doing the work in order to make the roads safe and avoid compensation claims.
Philip Moore of The Moorings Hotel on Seafield Road, said: “We have been told Project 30 work is due to start this week.
“So I couldn’t believe it when I saw a council workman patching up individual pot holes.
“They were filling up holes when the road is about to be ripped up. It just seems pointless.
“Why is the council doing this, when there is hardly any money about?
“The roads certainly need resurfacing, but it is a waste of money to be still patching up individual pot holes when they are about to resurface the whole road.”
Betty Wilson, of Seafield Road, said: “I know the roads have to be repaired but why don’t they do it properly?”
Another resident said it created more work and unnecessary inconvenience.
She added: “When they filled the potholes in, I thought why not do the resurfacing work at the same time?
“They do things back to front – the organisation is all wrong. It just seems to waste people’s money.”
The council said public safety was another key reason for the work as is trying to reduce their previously high level of compensation claims.
Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways on Blackpool Council, said: “The patch repairs which Mr Moore is referring to are an important part of the council’s duty to maintain roads to a safe standard.
“When we become aware of potholes it is vital we make them safe, even if it is only a short time prior to full repairs, because of the risk of injury they may pose.
“They may also, in turn, lead to compensation claims.
“In this case, I understand a minimal amount of work was done at minimal expense because our workmen understood about the impending improvements coming via Project 30.
“As we have highlighted previously we receive a high level of claims, some of which are genuine and some of which turn out to be bogus.
“As Project 30 illustrates, we are always extremely keen to safeguard the public from injury and safeguard taxpayers money too by investing in making repairs.”