Blackburn’s roads

The Big Freeze that hit Blackburn with Darwen this winter inflicted massive damage on our already poor roads. Snow and ice left the already hole filled roads in the Borough with a  moonscape of pitted and potholed roads to be repaired right across the Borough. The roads have become a danger to road users, pedestrians, cars and bikes. At one point I thought they were trying to create a number of swimming pools on every street.

That’s why in last week’s Budget, Labour announced an extra £100 million funding for local authorities to help put the damage right – including an extra £143,000 for Blackburn with Darwen.

With the encouragement of Jack, who has had complaints from many residents on the state of the roads, the Government took  rapid and decisive action to ensure that our roads are in the best possible condition before next winter.

Knowing how this Tory /Liberal run Council has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds that has been given to them by the Labour Government, and to make sure it is spent on our roads, the money will be ring-fenced, with the Council being forced to  publish a  report on the work they’ve carried out with the funding.

This means the funding will go where it should go – to plug the potholes.  And we’ll be able to make sure that Blackburn with Darwen Council has made the repairs properly and spent the money wisely.

You’ll also be pleased to know that Labour has recently announced plans to make sure utility companies repair roads properly after carrying out their work. Taken together, it is clear proof of our determination to tackle maintenance problems and make our local roads safe and fit for purpose.

All this comes on top of a trebling in Labour’s investment for local road maintenance over the past decade – up from £265 million in 2000/01 to £809 million in 2010/11, it’s just a pity that this Tory/Lib run Council has not spent the money wisely.

But we understand we must also look forward to help avoid another sudden deterioration in road conditions in the future. So, we will be ensuring that this Council will focus on longer term resurfacing and maintenance work.

All this demonstrates that when things go wrong, Labour is on your side. Taking the decisions in the interest of the many and not the few and working to make the road ahead as smooth as possible

Author: Kate Hollern

Kate is the leader of the Labour opposition group on Blackburn with Darwen Council.

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