The £1.8m plan to tackle pothole plague

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WASH-OUT summers and long, hard winters have left Wigan Council with a £1.8m road repair bill.

Disintigrating carriageways and a proliferation of potholes has made many of the borough’s routes a far from smooth driving experience.

And given the shortage of money in local authority coffers at the moment, such a huge lay-out is the last thing the town hall needs.

There has been some relief after the Government was awarded £460,000 by the Government towards road-mending, but the rest will have to be found from the council’s own reserves.

Mark Tilley, head of infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “The year 2012 was one of the wettest to date, with rainwater causing a lot of damage to our roads. As a result, Wigan Council has been awarded £460,000 in funding by the Department for Transport to help repair and maintain the borough’s roads.

“The funding will be used to repair approximately 20,000m2 of the worst hit roads in the borough. Wigan Council will also invest a further £1,396,617 from its reserves on a resurfacing programme which will reduce the need for future maintenance, keeping costs and inconvenience to residents down to a minimum.

“In the financial year 2012-2013 Wigan Council repaired 2,455 potholes. With this funding we’ll be able to continue making improvements, ensuring that our residents have access to safe roads.”

Collectively, the 10 Greater Manchester’s councils will be paying £50m to resurface the highways and the Local Government Association said years of severe weather, under-funding and cuts to budgets have hit the region’s roads hard.

The Government says that patching potholes rather than resurfacing roads is a more expensive option in the long run.