County Hall officials last month laid out their maintenance plans for the year ahead on the assumption that they would get a reduced £20.1m settlement from the Department for Transport (DfT) for 2022/23. However, the authority learned just days beforehand that it would once again be handed the £28m that it was allocated last year.
Cabinet members have now approved a list of extra schemes to go with the 76 that they had already agreed.
(Scroll down for full list of new schemes).
Labour opposition group leader Azhar Ali welcomed the investment, but said that there were roads across the county that were now “absolutely shot” – and asked what the future was for streets that “keep getting missed off [the list of repairs] year after year”.
However, cabinet member for highways and transport Charlie Edwards defended the authority’s strategy for deciding which routes should be prioritised for work.
“All of the schemes that were put forward by individual [councillors], members of the public or by our own highways engineers…go through a ranking process and it’s done very much based on the evidence and the approach that we’ve got. The ones that met the criteria the most…were the ones [selected].
“I just think it’s really important that we stick to the methodology and a decision-making process where this is always the case. I think by following the evidence…you do end up with a much fairer system [compared to the one that] some authorities still sadly have which is whoever shouts the loudest gets their road done – and I think that’s an extremely inequitable way to run a department and it’s certainly not a professional way to run a local government organisation in the 21st century.”
He added that County Hall’s approach had once again seen it given the highest rating by the DfT for good use of its resources – meaning that its £28m maintenance fund allocation includes an extra £3.2m which was sent Lancashire’s way in recognition of how it spends its highways repair money.
“Everything that we spend is going to be to make sure that we get the absolute most that we possibly can for every part of Lancashire,” County Cllr Edwards said.
The county council’s budget for pre-planned repairs is largely in addition to that allocated for fixing structural defects that emerge during the year, should they meet the authority’s criteria. County Hall will attend to a carriageway pothole only if it is over 40mm deep.
Papers presented to the cabinet state that “actual expenditure will reflect operational demand” – with an expectation that £10m will be required for reactive repairs during 2022/23.
That total will be made up of £2m from the DfT’s highways maintenance grant, a further £2m for “responsive maintenance” agreed when the county council set its budget back in February and £6m either from other funding within the capital programme or, as a last resort, prudential borrowing.
Members were also told that a £3m local deterioration fund – which will cover the cost of some of the smaller-scale planned projects – will be topsliced to the tune of £1.3m to create a contingency pot to deal with any issues that emerge within the proposed programme or at other locations.
Lancashire’s long-term plan for keeping its roads in good condition is currently focusing its attention o unclassified, often residential, streets, having made main routes the priority during the first five years of the strategy from 2014.
CUTTING THE CARBON FROM LANCASHIRE’S ROAD REPAIRS
Lancashire County Council will aim to choose the lowest carbon options for maintaining the road network, after drawing up a plan to decarbonise its highways activities.
Staff will be trained to calculate carbon output across the life cycle of a project and make decisions accordingly.
Specific suggestions outlined in the strategy, which has been given the green light by the authority’s cabinet, include use of reflective – rather than internally-lit – bollards, deployment of drones to carry out bridge inspections and a shift to electric vehicles, where possible, within the highways fleet.
Energy efficiency audits will be carried out at highways depots, which will aim for net zero carbon output, along with County Hall’s fleet operations.
Cabinet member for highways and transport Charlie Edwards said that the policy was ”ahead of its time” and should be applauded.
Efforts already made by the authority include the – almost completed – conversion of all 152,000 Lancashire streetlights to LED bulbs.
Cabinet member for economic development and growth Aidy Riggott said that staff had already shown that they were passionate about the carbon reduction plans.
£3m – main, A, B and C roads
£2.3m – rural unclassified roads
£6.6m – urban unclassified roads
£1m – footways
£3.5m – bridges and structures
£1.2m – street lighting
£600K – traffic signals
Source: Lancashire County Council’s updated new starts highways capital programme, 2022/23
WHAT’S HAPPENING WHERE?
All of the additional maintenance works planned, in the form: road name – county council division – nature and exact location of the work
Arbories Avenue – Padiham and Burnley West – resurfacing full length
Lindsay Street – Burnley North East – resurfacing from Church Street to the end of the road
Brownhill Avenue – Burnley Central East – resurfacing from Brunshaw Road to Carholme Avenue
Springfield Road – Burnley Rural – resurfacing from Hollingreave Road to o Marlborough Street
B6228 Lyons Lane – Chorley North – resurfacing between Worthy Street and Shepherds Way
Shakespeare Terrace – Chorley North – surface dressing multi-treatment of Shakespeare Terrace from Thornhill to house no.54; Willow Road from Harpers Lane to Thornhill Road; Larch Avenue from Thornhill Road to Northgate Drive; Beaconsfield Terrace from Shakespeare Terrace to Wordsworth Terrace; Wordsworth Terrace from Beaconsfield Terrace to Shakespeare Terrace; Thornhill Drive full loop; Birch Avenue full length; Chestnut Avenue full length; Cedar Road full length; Elm Grove; full length
The Common/Castle Drive – Chorley Rural East – surface dressing of The Common from Old School Lane to the A6; and the full length of Castle Drive
Queens Road – Chorley Central -surface dressing from Southport Road to the A581
B6227 Railway Road – Chorley Rural East – resurfacing from the 3 Talking Heads hair salon to just before the roundabout
A583 Blackpool Road/Kirkham Bypass – Fylde East – surface dressing from Freckleton Road traffic lights to Victoria Railway Bridge
Sydney Street – St Annes South – resurfacing full length
Kirkgate – Fylde East – resurfacing from just after Poulton Street to Marsden Street
Thompson Street/Charnock Streeet/Railway Terrace – Fylde East – resurfacing Thompson Street from Station Road to Charnock Street and the full lengths of Charnock Street and Railway Terrace
St Annes Road North – St Annes North and St Annes South – resurfacing from The Crescent to house no.27
Westgate Road/Martin Avenue – St Annes North – surface dressing full length of Westgate Road and Martin Avenue from Westgate to the football club entrance
Clarendon Road North and surrounding roads – St Annes North and St Annes South – surface dressing Clarendon Road North from St Annes Road East to Headroom Gate; Ramsgate from Crossland Road North to Clarendon Road North; Margate from Clarendon Road North to Folkstone Road North; Dover Road from Margate to Ramsgate; Walmer Road from Ramsgate to Folkstone Road; Sheppard Road North from Ramsgate to St Annes Road East
Smithy Lane – Fylde West – surface dressing from Mill Lane to Fairfield Lane
Bartle Road – St Annes South – resurfacing from Singleton Avenue to the new resurfacing
Beach Street – Lytham – resurfacing full length
West Street – Great Harwood, Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors – resurfacing from Blackburn Road to Hanson Street
Pickup Street – Accrington West and Oswaldtwistle Central – resurfacing from Spring Hill Road South to the end of Pickup Street (Clifton Mill Gates)
Victor Street – Great Harwood, Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors – resurfacing from George Street to Pickup Street
Elm Street Great – Harwood, Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors – resurfacing full length
Clarence Road – Accrington West and Oswaldtwistle Central – resurfacing full length
Pickup Street – Great Harwood, Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors – resurfacing from Barnes Square to Whalley Road
A683 Bay Gateway – Morecambe North, Skerton, and Morecambe South – surface preservation work from Caton Road to Northgate (excluding roundabouts)
Beaufort Road – Morecambe North – resurfacing from Broadway to outside no.70
Northumberland Street – Morecambe Central – resurfacing from Central Drive to Marine Road Central, including Bath Street
Eskdale Place – Morecambe South – resurfacing full length
Pennine View – Morecambe Central – resurfacing full length
Long Marsh Lane – Lancaster Central – resurfacing from West Road to Mallard Court
Charnley Street/Briery Street/Ford Street – Lancaster Central – resurfacing full lengths of each
New Quay Road – Lancaster Central – resurfacing from St Georges Quay to the substation
Royds Grove – Heysham – resurfacing full length
Parkside – Morecambe South – resurfacing from Altham Road to house no.10
A56 Skipton New Road – Pendle Rural – surface dressing from outside Green Fells House to new surfacing outside no.49 Bankhouse and from the new surfacing finish point at the 40mph sign to previous surface dressing finish point
Kirby Road – Brierfield and Nelson West – resurfacing from Churchill Way to outside no.14
Spring Street – Brierfield and Nelson West – resurfacing in Manchester Road area
Allendale Street – Pendle Central – resurfacing from Vincent Street to Lilac Street
Craven Street – Pendle Rural – resurfacing full length
Walverden Crescent – Nelson East – resurfacing full length
Railway Street – Nelson East – resurfacing from Waidshouse Road to the end of the road
Kings Causeway – Pendle Hill – resurfacing at junction with Halifax Road
Stone Edge Road – Pendle Hill – resurfacing from Mitton Avenue to Barnoldswick Road
Skipton Road – Pendle Rural – resurfacing and renewal of anti-skid surface on approaches to the mini roundabout
Ribblesdale Drive/Preston Road – Preston Rural – resurfacing Ribblesdale Drive from Preston Road to just past Moss Nook Drive; and Preston Road from near Bridge House to just after Ribblesdale Drive
B6243 Edisford Road – Clitheroe – resurfacing from Roefield leisure centre entrance to lighting column 45
Lowmoor Way – Clitheroe – resurfacing from Union Street to High Street
Little Lane – Longridge with Bowland- resurfacing from Kestor Lane to Fell Brow
Ely Close – Ribble Valley South West – resurfacing full length
Lowmoor Way – Clitheroe – resurfacing from Union Street to Nelson Street
Barker Lane – Ribble Valley South West – resurfacing full length
Booth Road – Mid Rossendale – resurfacing from John Street to Burnley Road East
Lilac Avenue – Rossendale West – resurfacing full length
Thisltemount Avenue – Mid Rossendale resurfacing full length
Prospect Street – Mid Rossendale and Rossendale East – resurfacing from Burnley Road East to Wales Road
Stubbins Vale Road – Rossendale South – surface dressing from Stubbins Street to farm cottages
Chatterton Road – Rossendale South – surface dressing from Bolton Road North to the end of the road
Somerset Walk – Rossendale West – resurfacin full length
Bluebell Avenue – Rossendale West – resurfacing from Campion Drive to the end of the road
Fairfax Place – Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge – resurfacing from Selkirk Drive to the end of the road
B5240 Hall Lane – West Lancashire East – surface dressing from just after the end of the new recent resurfacing at Dicks Lane to Briars Lane
Rutland Crescent – Ormskirk – resurfacing from Ludlow Drive to opposite house no.5
Warpers Moss Close – Burscough and Rufford – resurfacing full length
Delta Park Drive/Hazelwood Drive – West Lancashire North – resurfacing of Delta Park Drive from Chapel Road to Ribble Drive and full length of Hazelwood Drive
County Road service road – Ormskirk – resurfacing from house no.150 to no.124
John Street – Cleveleys East – resurfacing full length excluding parking spaces)
The Avenue – Cleveleys South and Carleton – resurfacing from just prior to no.1 to outside no.21
Hillylaid Road – Thornton and Hambleton – resurfacing from just after Diane Road to outside house no.124
Arundel Drive – Cleveleys South and Carleton – surface dressing from Poulton Road to Fleetwood Road
Victoria Street – Fleetwood East – surface dressing from Mount Road to Queens Terrace
Princes Way – Fleetwood West and Cleveleys West – resurfacing from house no.69 to no.50
Broadway – Fleetwood West and Cleveleys West – resurfacing from Larkholme Lane to house no,197
Fairway – Fleetwood West and Cleveleys West – from Chatsworth Avenue to No.1 Marine Parade
Alder Grove – Poulton-Le-Fylde – resurfacing from Carr Head Lane to the end of the road