Louth campaigners say ‘fix our roads - and make them last!’

A Louth councillor is leading a campaign for long-lasting road repairs in the town, and a change to the way potholes and repairs are dealt with by the county council.

District councillor Ros Jackson (left) with town councillor Lynne Cooney. (Photo: submitted).

District councillor Ros Jackson, who represents Louth Trinity ward, has also launched an online petition as part of the campaign demanding urgent repairs to Abbey Road, Broadley Crescent, and Park Avenue.

Councillor Jackson said: “I’m specifically calling for the county council to look at the way it deals with potholes because the way this has been done hasn’t been working.

“Repairs are too often temporary, and not fixed in a way that lasts. The prioritisation is wrong, with potholes often left unfilled right next to repairs that have been done.

One of the affected roads in Louth. (Photo: submitted).

“A full scrutiny of the process is needed, and recommendations put in place that will improve our roads. It’s not just a case of more funding, although that has reduced.

“The county also needs to look at the outsourced contracts to make sure we’re getting value for money and that the company has the right incentives to improve road repair.”

Coun Jackson added: “These three roads are particularly bad, but they aren’t the only ones in a poor state of repair.

“Chestnut Drive, St Bernard’s Close, Millgood Close, Riverhead Road, the bottom of Church Street, and Eastgate between the roundabouts are a few of the streets within Louth that need similar attention.

“I could go on. There are similar issues in other parts of Lincolnshire.”

In response, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for highways, Coun Richard Davies, said the authority is doing its best in difficult circumstances – and even had to use council reserves to make up a multi-million pound shortfall, after central Government cut the county council’s highways budget by almost a quarter.

Coun Davies said: “The county council hates potholes just as much as residents and drivers do, and after a severe winter, we’ve worked hard to repair over 23,500 of them across Lincolnshire so far this year.

“At this time of year, our ambitious surfacing programme is also in full swing, with over 380 miles of resurfacing, surface dressing and footway works planned for the coming months.

“Cutting around potholes and refilling the area provides a better seal and a longer lasting repair, and we’ll always do that where we can. However, as it takes longer, we often infill potholes on busier routes to keep the road safe, and then return at a quieter time or with traffic management to do a permanent repair.

“Some road surfaces also can’t be cut into in that way, such as concrete roads, so potholes have to be in-filled and other, more substantial surfacing works planned for later.

“In an ideal world we’d do hardly any reactive pothole repairs and only do resurfacing and preventative maintenance, to stop these problems forming in the first place.

“But to get to that stage we’d need investment of around £500m to bring all our roads up to standard.

“This year, the county council used £12.3m of our reserves to maintain the budget at £51m after it was cut by almost 25 per cent from the Government.

“This shows our commitment to maintaining and improving our road network, and we will continue to lobby Government for fairer funding for our roads that will allow us to do more.

“We have robust processes in place with our contractors to ensure we’re getting the best value for taxpayers’ money, and maintaining the network as efficiently as we can.”

Coun Davies added: “In Louth, Abbey Road, Broadley Crescent and Park Avenue have all had potholes infilled to get them ready for more significant jetpatching works in the coming weeks.

“Some of these are concrete roads so the surface can’t be cut into to repair potholes. Jetpatching will provide a much neater road surface.

“As always, we’d encourage residents to report any problems with our roads to us through FixMyStreet. They can also view our upcoming programme of maintenance on our website.”

• To view and sign Coun Jackson’s online petition, visit https://bit.ly/3h3eA8N