Spending money to save

News story
News story

COUNCIL bosses have moved to explain road resurfacing works dubbed “unnecessary” and a “waste of money” by Wigan residents.

The works carried out on the Robin Hill Drive estate in Standish had led some living close by to question the local authority’s road maintenance choices.

Viv Newman, who lives on nearby Ribble Road, told the Evening Post that the roads were not in disrepair and the projects would be better served in problem areas of the borough.

She said: “It’s a complete waste of money.

“If you drive through Standish-lower-Ground to Shevington, those roads are in far worse condition.

“Main routes in Wigan are falling into disrepair, this particular road leads nowhere.

“I don’t know what the reasoning is, there are no pot-holes.”

But Wigan Council, who earlier this year announced that £500k from their budget would go towards road repairs, said the estate needed “preventative maintenance treatment” to “prolong the useful life of the road.”

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure, said: “To delay this treatment would result in further and more severe potholes developing and major deterioration to a point where preventative processes would no longer be appropriate and therefore traditional resurfacing processes would be required.

“The cost of traditional resurfacing processes would have greatly exceeded the cost of preventative surface dressing processes (better to spend £10,000 now rather than £100,000 in two or three years’ time). In addition preventative maintenance techniques are less intrusive and therefore minimise inconvenience for road users.”

In addition to the funds allocated from its own budget, the council will also receive £592,919 from the Department for Transport’s dedicated Pothole Repair Fund.

As a condition of receiving the money local authorities are required to publish monthly progress updates on how many potholes have been repaired.

Mr Tilley said: “The preventative maintenance treatment carried out around the Standish area is part of a borough “invest to save” initiative for residential roads which when complete will extend the life of the roads resurfaced to ensure the council minimises a costly carriageway liability in future years.

“The amount of funding for carriageway resurfacing is greatly reducing and the council therefore needs to prevent those roads showing early signs of deterioration from getting worse.

“I can also advise that all the roads and footways across the full borough undergo condition surveys.

“This means that each financial year when the list of streets are compiled to formulate the annual programme for works each street will undergo a close inspection to assess its relative condition compared to other highways throughout the borough, bearing in mind the amount of funding that has been made available for highway maintenance in general and the type of treatment that is required.