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Pothole hell puts people ‘in danger’

Blackpool Against Cuts says government cutbacks are leading to even more potholes in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.
Blackpool Against Cuts says government cutbacks are leading to even more potholes in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.

Government cuts are having such a detrimental impact on roads it is putting people in danger, an anti-austerity group on the Fylde coast said.

Blackpool Against the Cuts (BAC) claimed roads on the coast are in a worse state than ever before as a result of government policy, with potholes even more commonplace.

Ray Smith, of Blackpool Against Cuts

Ray Smith, of Blackpool Against Cuts

County councils, which act as the local highway authorities for places like Fylde 
and Wyre, and unitary authorities like the one in Blackpool are, facing massive budget reductions from central 
government, which are squeezing services.

BAC said one direct result of the cutbacks is a deterioration in roads in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde, and group secretary Ray Smith said: “The state of the roads worries me.

“If vehicles are knocked off course, or have tyres and wheels damaged by bad road surfaces, the driver and passengers can be affected, not just the cars.

“Completely unprotected are nearby pedestrians and cyclists, who could get hit. The limited pothole mending which does happen just seems to be a ‘sticking plaster’ approach.”

And Mike Stott, vice chairman of BAC, said: “Drivers have found out the hard way that if your car gets damaged by a dangerous pot hole, there is little chance of the council taking responsibility.”

Blackpool Council said 
it has been chosen to head up a project to identify pothole blackspots and will lead seven other councils in 
a scheme involving cameras mounted on vans to collect road and pavement data.

The resort will get £100,000 to play a major role – on top of an extra £147,000 to spend on pothole repairs.

Lancashire County Council, meanwhile, has set aside £10m for potholes in 2018/19.

However, the county’s shadow Labour group said it is a case of too little too late.