23rd March 2018:
Statement received from Cumbria County Council :
Winter weather and the impact on the Highway
We understand and appreciate the frustration that Cumbrian residents are experiencing. This winter has proven to be a real challenge to Cumbria County Council Highway services. It has been colder and wetter than the previous few years and as a result, there are more road defects and increased pressure on the network. The significant, prolonged wet periods have been closely followed by lengthy spells of cold weather, leading to substantial additional freeze-thaw action and the accelerated deterioration of our roads. This is a situation not unique to Cumbria and many of our neighbouring authorities are having the same challenge.
Repairs done at this time of year when roads are cold and wet are less likely to be as effective as repairs done in warmer, drier conditions. There have been very few periods of warmer, drier weather for us to undertake permanent repairs; therefore often the only option available to us, in order to keep roads safe, is temporary work. We appreciate that this has dismayed some customers who expect more but unfortunately, as explained, permanent solutions are not always effective if road temperatures are low and rather than closing roads, a temporary fix is a more appropriate solution. Our intention is to effect quality permanent repairs as soon as we are out of the winter weather period.
Our teams continue to work hard to manage the increased number of defects but the reality is that we need to prioritise carefully. The Council has had to take nearly £200m out of its revenue budgets in the last 8 years – with further cuts still to be made. We simply do not have the money available to invest in all the proactive maintenance we would like or to divert money from other essential council services into our roads.
We are grateful when our customers identify and report problems and defects to us but as explained, we are not always able to meet their expectations, particularly when the defect does not fall within our priority specifications. Given the extenuating circumstances and our limited resources, we are doing all we can to keep on top of the damage and ensure the highways are safe for all road users
Waterloo House Surgery Millom new telephone number from 27th January 2016 is 01229 402800