4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire? Well Cumbria has nearly 40,000 and MP wants photos of them (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire? Well Cumbria has nearly 40,000 and MP wants photos of them
WESTMORLAND MP Tim Farron is calling on residents to send him photos of the worst potholes in the area.
Mr Farron intends to hand them over to Cumbria County Council to get them fixed as its a top gripe on South Lakeland doorsteps.
Statistics given to the Gazette by the authority appear to support it.
While a spokeswoman said it was difficult to be precise about pothole numbers, in the six months between September last year and February, it either found or was told about 38,947 defects on the highway countywide.
But it added 86 per cent of these have been 'fixed in just under 11 days'.
The remaining defects are considered either needing longer term repair, more investigation or were reported at the end of February 2013 and are awaiting repair.
Mr Farron said: “I am asking local residents to send me a photo of the worst pothole in their area and I will take each and every one to the county council and demand that they fix them.
“We want to lay a public challenge to the county council – look at every one of these photos and then come and fix our roads."
Mr Farron said in December last year he helped secure nearly £6 million of roads investment for Cumbria from the government to be spent over the next two years - on top of what the county council already spends.
It means in 2013-14, Cumbria will be given £3.8 million and in 2014-15, it will be £2 million in 2014/15.
This is in addition to the current funding the council receives.
Mr Farron said in 2010/11, the county spent £19.2 million of its budget on road maintenance - increasing to £21.5 million in 2011/12.
The authority has a dedicated 'find and fix' budget which as well as being used to spend on repairing pot holes, is used to mend other road defects.
A spokesperson said its find and fix budget totals £5.7m for the financial year 2012/13.
Mr Farron added: "The council now has extra funding to make sure it can fix our roads. People pay enough tax on their cars, I think the least they deserve is decent roads, not roads strewn with potholes."
Almost all of the road network in Cumbria is looked after by Cumbria Highways, a partnership between the county council, and Connect Roads.
Cumbria Highways manages and maintains some 4,784 miles (7,700km) of highway network from major routes to minor rural roads.
Around £50 million every year is spent on the network from signage, gritting roads, bridges, street lights and other structures.
People are asked to send their photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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