Cash shortfall for pothole repairs

Church Street in Spalding
Church Street in Spalding
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HIGHWAYS staff are “doing their damnedest” to keep the county’s roads in check, despite being millions of pounds short of funds to fix them.

Lincolnshire County Council is estimating repairs could cost at least £300million after wintry weather took its toll on the roads, but say there is only about £46.5m in the budget.

The A151 Weston bypass

The A151 Weston bypass

Coun William Webb, executive councillor for highways and county councillor for Holbeach Rural, said: “I think the expectations which the public have of the local authority are greater than we can deliver.

“During this last winter we did exactly what we said we would do.

“Our record speaks for itself. I have huge praise for the maintenance staff who work far above the call of duty.”

On one route alone, calls to the county’s customer services centre doubled from 168 in December last year to 333 this year.

Paul Coathup, assistant director for highways and transport, said: “Lincolnshire’s backlog is echoed by the nation which has an approximate £1bn backlog of repairs – the UK hasn’t ever been able to spend enough money to upkeep all of its roads to the highest standards.

“Our county’s issues are compounded by its large scale – our East division alone has to cover an area as big as Northamptonshire – and the rural nature of so many of our routes.

“Our estimated backlog of £300m is based on condition surveys which we will only be able to update after this winter, but it’s likely to be worse following the recent terrible weather.”

Coun Webb added: “We are doing our damnedest to get on top of it. Bear with us.

“We have a pretty good idea where the majority of pot holes are.

“If anyone thinks we are not aware then let us know.”