A multi-million pound programme to tackle pothole repairs across Westmorland and Furness has been agreed.
Councillors have backed a highways spending plan that includes £8.5 million earmarked for fixing potholes this year.
The figure includes the £3 million additional funding awarded by the Department for Transport for pothole repairs in March.
Westmorland and Furness Council’s highways delivery plan was agreed at a meeting of the Highways and Transport Strategic Board this week (6 June).
The plan also includes more than £11 million for other road repairs and maintenance – including road and footway surface works and drainage improvements – and £2.5 million for bridge maintenance.
In addition, the spending plan includes allocations for improvements to public rights of way, traffic signals and road safety studies.
Westmorland and Furness Council is responsible for maintaining 2,700 miles of principle and minor roads.
A report to the Highways and Transport Strategic Board includes a comprehensive schedule of maintenance and improvement schemes that will be funded and details a draft strategic highways programme.
Cabinet member for Highways and Assets, Councillor Peter Thornton, welcomed the investment, saying: “We know the frustration that potholes cause and that is why we have allocated a significant sum to make a real difference to the number of repairs we can make right across Westmorland and Furness.
“This year we have already rolled out the use of innovative ‘jet-patching’ machines to fix potholes, carry out emergency road repairs and seal worn sections of carriageway. We are using three of these machines on the Westmorland and Furness Council road network, each capable of making up to 150 permanent pothole repairs each day in a fraction of the time it usually takes conventional repair methods.
“The repairs are instantly ready to take vehicles, reducing disruption to road users and providing a long-lasting repair.
“This winter’s severe weather and freezing temperatures took its toll on the condition of our roads and we have made repairing damaged road surfaces one of our top priorities.
“This funding package demonstrates our commitment to not only fixing potholes but maintaining road surfaces, improving road safety and drainage and looking after our network of bridges and footpaths.
“We have looked at this programme strategically, so we are prioritising works that will most effectively maintain the network and where we will get the most benefit for every pound that we spend.’’