MORE funding is being requested to fix the road maintenance ‘backlog’ in Cumbria after it was revealed that London councils receive more than 2.5 times more funding than those in rural areas.
Cumbria County Council (CCC) said the upkeep of the roads in the region cost more to fix due to the accessibility of more remote locations and bosses want more funding to help clear the current maintenance issues.
“Cumbria’s road network is an ageing asset which has been affected by extreme weather events in the last few years and with climate change this is likely to continue," said Cllr Keith Little, cabinet member for highways and transport.
“We have a maintenance backlog of circa £350m and with reductions in Government funding over the last five years we have had to prioritise our funding on our main priority roads and choice of treatments adopting a risk based approach.
“Like all authorities and especially rural counties like here in Cumbria, we continue to lobby Government to allocate more funding for highways infrastructure.
“This year’s funding formula sees Cumbria receive approximately £23,620 of road funding per mile, whilst councils in Greater London receive an average of more than £62,000 per mile.”
There have been numerous cases across the county of long waits for dangerous potholes to be repaired.
One such example is in Kirkby Lonsdale where Chris Culley has faced a long battle to have a pothole on a piece of road close to his property repaired.
Mr Culley said he had reported the issue to CCC no less than five times and obtained a reference number on each occasion, but still no action was taken.
However a CCC spokesperson said the matter was now being addressed.
"The carriageway is acknowledged to be in poor condition and we will continue to monitor and repair actionable defects," said the spokesperson.
"We have also assessed the road under the council’s ‘priority assessment scheme’ and it is currently number 63 on the list in terms of condition.
"A full resurfacing the road is unlikely to take place in the next three years unless we receive significant additional funding, or the condition deteriorates more quickly than other identified schemes that are currently in a worse condition."
And a South Lakeland motorist has also demanded action after a pothole set off airbags in her car and left her with a £3,500 repair bill.
Sherrie Blakeborough was driving along the B5278 from Flookburgh to Haverthwaite when she went over what she thought was a puddle after a sharp bend, but turned out to be a deep pothole, activating the airbags.
Miss Blakeborough's attempt to submit a claim to CCC, which is responsible for the maintenance of the road, was disputed and she was forced to claim on her insurance which meant she incurred a £950 excess and lost two years’ no claims discount.