Burnley’s potholes can be frustrating - but what can we do about them?

Burnley’s potholes can be frustrating.

As a new mum who cannot drive, I’ve only just begun to appreciate this due to my son’s stroller getting caught in them.

My partner recently had a worrying experience when he was walking with the pram across Bank Barade opposite The Bridge Bier Huis, and it toppled over after getting stuck in a kerbside pothole.

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My other-half grazed his shins trying to stop the pram from tipping over, and our little one was upset from the shock of the fall but fortunately was unhurt. Still, his dad worries our lad could have banged his head on the road if the fall had happened differently.

Potholes in Nairne Street in Burnley. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

I can appreciate that these fractures are just as much of an earache for the council as they are for the community: a never-ending maintenance task to be carried out on a limited budget.

But it’s a task that needs to be done to help prevent accidents.

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Researching the cause of these troublesome cavities, I’ve learnt that the weather worsens them: rain spills into tiny gaps in the road, typically caused by heavy traffic. The water freezes during winter and expands, widening the cracks. The ice then melts, and vehicles create new fissures as they the road.

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Potholes in Nairne Street in Burnley. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

We can’t change the weather, and Burnley is the land of rain. Plus, council budgets are already stretched.

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So, what can we do to keep on top of our roads?

I don’t know much about cars - or what it takes to upkeep one - but I do hope to learn to drive in the near future. My new understanding of potholes is giving me food for thought about how much I should rely on a car: could I still walk to the supermarket, take the train to Manchester, or bike to a friend’s house?

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I know not everyone has that option, and we need to ensure our key workers can travel to work quickly and easily.

But regarding non-urgent travel, it does make you think: do we use our roads too much?