In March, it was revealed that Bolton was £108 million short of the money it needs to bring its roads up to a good condition. In 2017 spent just £137,000 filling potholes, which is around 0.1% of the total estimated to fix the borough’s broken roads.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by campaigner Warren Fox revealed Bolton Council spent just £137,000 in 2017 filling potholes. The request also revealed the total amount paid out by Bolton Council on compensation claims due to potholes for calendar year 2017 was £9,424.47.
A previous FOI request uncovered the local authority has forked out a total of £117,232.83 to drivers whose cars have been damaged after driving on roads around the borough since 2012.
It is estimated that Local Authorities across the country have paid out a combined £72million in pothole compensation since 2013, which is 28% of the government’s £250 million, 5 year ‘Pothole Action Fund’ announced in 2013. It’s claimed by Cycling UK that this money could have fixed 1.4million potholes.
Warren Fox said, “Councillors cannot keep blaming this issue on cuts, the chronic underfunding of fixing Bolton’s broken roads has been going on for a decades. If the council had accepted proposals put forward by Bolton Lib Dems an extra £15.5 million would have been spent towards fixing the problem, this was with no increases to council tax, but these plans were rejected.
Most people have seen and shared the pothole memes on social media, ‘in Astley Bridge we used to drive on the left-hand side of the road, now we drive on what is left of it’, this pretty much sums up the reality for the condition of lots of roads in Bolton”.
I will fight for an extra £10 million per year investment in fixing Bolton’s broken roads
If the council had accepted proposals put forward by Bolton Lib Dems an extra £15.5 million would have been spent towards fixing the problem, this was with no increases to council tax, but these plans were rejected.
Footpaths and roads are now in seriously poor conditions, at the hands of this council Bolton has suffered chronic underfunding. It’s time that changed and we invest the much needed funds to fix our broken roads and paths.
I will fight for an extra £10 million in funding per year for a road and footpath improvement scheme.