Weather’slegacy ofruined roads

Date: Friday 23rd March 2018

THE recent extreme weather has left behind it a legacy of ruined roads.

Potholes have proliferated across Cumbria’s highway network, as road surfaces have succumbed to the attrition of freezing and wet conditions.

Potholes many seem a superficial problem, but in fact can be both costly and dangerous to cyclists, car drivers and other road users — as evidenced on this week’s motoring and letters pages.

Cumbria County Council — already cash-strapped after years of spending cuts — is now faced with footing the bill for repair of many of the county’s roads. Subsidies for repair of more minor roads are a fraction per mile of those doled out for fixing major highways.

A meeting of the council’s cabinet on Thursday was told that authorities may in future be able to bid competitively for cash towards maintenance of key routes — a concept to which councillors gave their backing.

It is to be hoped that when it comes to assessing where funds should be allocated, recognition is given to counties like Cumbria — with hundreds of miles of rural roads, often in a poor state.

While Cumbria may not have high population figures, its road network is vital to keep the county moving. This is imperative not only for residents, who have to travel many miles for work, school and other commitments, but also the thousands of visitors for whom Cumbria is a year-round destination.