Hole hell drags on for drivers

Pot-holes in Staining near the community centre car park. PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-1-2011
Pot-holes in Staining near the community centre car park. PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-1-2011
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DRIVERS in Fylde and Wyre face months of pothole hell before their journeys get smoother.

The coldest winter on record has badly affected many main major roads.

Millions of pounds will be ploughed into repairs, but it could be months before residents start to see the holes disappear.

Lancashire County Council has announced £16m worth of spending while Blackpool Council is set to spend £30m on relaying all the resort’s damaged roads and pavements over the next four years.

But County Hall officers will not begin assessing damage to roads in Fylde and Wyre until February

Last year the county council repaired 22,000 potholes at a cost of £16m. It is planning to carry out a similar number of repairs this year.

But Coun Tim Ashton, a Lytham councillor and Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said now was “not the right time” to be repairing the roads.

He said: “We’ve had two extreme winters which have caused us a real problem over the whole of Lancashire. It is a priority and we’ve invested more money into it.

“But it’s not the right time to repair potholes because of the cold weather – we have to make sure we use our money effectively.

“I would ask people to be patient and we will do it properly.”

Freckleton resident Robert Silverwood, vice-chairman of Lytham Enterprise Group, said that the state of the area’s roads was “absolutely dreadful”.

“People are dodging potholes in their cars or going into them,” he said.

“They create havoc with your tyres. Some of them are massive.”

And St Annes Coun Tony Ford added: “Poor road surfaces and poorly maintained pavements were the biggest complaints made by residents in response to the Town Council’s household survey last year. “

Both the county council and Blackpool Council say that they repair “dangerous” potholes as quickly as possible.

Commuters in Blackpool are facing further delays on the Promenade, which is going to be closed completely between New Bonny Street and Talbot Square for four months from February 25 to allow work to continue on the Tower Headlands.

Dee Grant, director of taxi firm C Cabs in Caunce Street, said: “It’s going to be more congestion than we’ve already got.

“Roads do desperately need fixing, but I don’t want them to do repairs in the town centre while the Prom is shut.”

The council has promised it will continually repair potholes.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “While the project is going through the necessary channels of approval we are already working on a programme of works which will address the worst roads as a priority.