Maverick campaigners marking their territory in war on potholes

Campaigners in Spring Hill Road, Burnley next to several potholes they have marked out.
Campaigners in Spring Hill Road, Burnley next to several potholes they have marked out.
Share this article

Campaigners in Burnley are leading their own survey of potholes and logging their locations as evidence of the town’s growing problem.

Led by local Green Party campaigner Andy Fewings, residents have been highlighting the dangerous road conditions with temporary eco chalk spray.

Andy said: “Lancashire Council have a great facility on their website for logging potholes.

“But it takes time and effort to get the huge number of potholes recorded.

“Enough is Enough - it’s time the problem got fixed!”

The campaigners are so determined to do their bit they have even ignored warnings of a fine from the county council for placing unauthorised markings on roads.

Andy added: “We know there are severe budget constraints placed on local councils by national government, but we’re not sure priorities are always right.

“The council seems more concerned with stopping us from highlighting the problem rather than fixing it.

“Fixing poor road surfaces has all kinds of benefits for the local area – helping to reduce accidents with better safety for cars, bikes and other road users, a cleaner environment and less noise pollution which seems like a valid reason for highlighting the dangers to me.”

More than £7m a year is being spent repairing Lancashire’s pothole riddled roads.

An investigation has found that the red rose county’s roads are the worst in the North West, with county hall chiefs shelling out a whopping £7,138,452 fixing the 79,000 reported potholes in 2016.

A total of 79,284 potholes were reported in the county in 2016, totalling more than 3,000 metres in depth - the equivalent of 66% of all potholes reported in the north west (120,748) and measuring more than 18 and a half times the depth of the English Channel.

A spokesman for the AA said: “This is a product of councils in the 1990s not spending their money on the roads that they should have done.

“This is the chicken coming home to roost.”

Successful compensation claims accounted for almost a quarter of all in the north west, with £29,075 paid to affected motorists.

Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, Coun. Keith Iddon, said: “Lancashire’s highways network is the biggest in the North West, over 4,400 miles in length, so it’s no surprise that we figure highly in a survey like this, however we also spend more to maintain them and prevent potholes appearing.

“We recognise how important roads are to our economy, ensuring people and goods can travel efficiently, and are investing a further £5m in highway maintenance this year on top of the funding we receive from the Department for Transport, adding up to a budget in excess of £24m for 2017/18.

“We expect to spend around £4m on repairs to potholes with the majority of the funding for planned maintenance which helps to prevent them in the first place.

“Our approach to road maintenance is based on using accurate survey data to ensure we carry out the right treatment at the right time to prevent them deteriorating to the stage where lots of potholes are appearing and more costly repairs are needed.”