Freeze leaves unhole-y mess

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The snow may have gone, but the size of Leyland’s pothole menace has only just become apparent.

Weeks of sub-zero temperatures and a covering of ice and snow have combined to leave the region’s roads looking worse than ever.

Motorists risk causing serious damage to their cars, or even injury, if they drive into a pothole, some of which are up to 50cm deep.

The Leyland Guardian went out and found a catalogue of problems across the town.

One of the worst was at the crossing on Broadfield Drive, near South Ribble Council offices. The other streets with deteriorating road surfaces included: Moss Lane, Millennium Way, Stanifield Lane, Leyland Lane, Royal Avenue, Parkgate Drive, Stanley Avenue and Bristol Avenue.

Motorcyclist Damian Holohan, 40, of Leyland Lane, said: “The potholes can be hazardous, as you don’t know how deep they are when you see a puddle.

“It can be lethal driving on two wheels compared to four in a car, as you could get knocked off and lose control.

“It is a problem not just for motorists in Leyland, but nationally and the roads are worse than ever before.

“I have not had to repair any damage to my car, but I know that some of my workmates have tried to claim money back for damage to their tyres and wheels.”

David Ball, of School Lane, says that the repairs to the crumbling roads must not be a short-term fix.

The 48-year-old said: “We are on a busy main road and something needs to be done.

“I have a moped and it means that you have to concentrate more on the road and try to stay away from pavements because that is where it is worst.

“It really needs to be fixed as soon as possible, before it gets worse when it freezes again.

“However, we don’t want it just to be a temporary thing because it will come back again next year.

“I don’t think the roads were gritted enough, and we pay our taxes so our roads are safe.”

Motorists could face bills of a couple of hundred pounds to repair suspension and wheel axle problems from repeatedly driving into the potholes.

Lancashire County Council has announced that their budget for repairing potholes is increasing to £19.9m next year – despite the government’s huge spending cuts and mass public sector job losses.

Tim Ashton, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I recognise how important it is to invest in our roads as they’re essential to the functioning of our economy and to people’s everyday lives – shops and manufacturers need to receive and deliver goods on time and people need them to get to work, school and visit friends and family.

“I’ve demonstrated that road maintenance is a genuine priority for the county council by investing £5m from our own reserves this year on top of the funding provided by the government, which has allowed us to carry out more resurfacing schemes than in previous years.”

Have you seen a worse pothole in your road? Contact the Guardian on 01257 264911 or email christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk