A LOCAL councillor has slammed the state of ‘unacceptable’ roads in her ward which are now in ‘dire’ condition following bad weather.
It was revealed last year that more than £17m has been earmarked to repair Barnsley’s roads and invest in its highways network in the coming financial year.
The funding is part of a highways capital programme, which will see the cash allocated to fix roads, footpaths, bridges, street lights, traffic signs and signals.
A £2m investment has been set aside for improvements on the borough’s highways.
A road maintenance survey by the Asphalt Industry Alliance released in March reported that the backlog of carriageway repairs in England and Wales increased by almost a quarter on last year’s figure to £12.64bn - the equivalent of £75.7m for every local authority in England and Wales.
Coun Hannah Kitching, leader of the Lib Dems in Barnsley who represents Penistone West, said despite submitting a number of roads to the council for them to be repaired, she is yet to hear anything.
Speaking of the road conditions, she said: “They were bad to begin with and the recent weather has made things even worse.
“This is obviously completely unacceptable.
“I have reported all the potholes that were flagged to me while I was away at Christmas but the issue here is bigger than that - these roads need resurfacing properly.
“Back in February last year we were told there was an additional £2m available for highways improvements, and, as requested by the cabinet member, I sent a list of roads in the Penistone area that were desperately in need of resurfacing.
“I have had no update on how this money has been spent.
“A couple of the roads I reported have been done, but most have not, with no information on when or if this might happen.
“I have therefore emailed the cabinet member and highways team to ask yet again when Penistone’s crumbling roads are likely to be resurfaced.
“I’m also aware that the long overdue retreading of Hartcliff Road has left it in a truly terrible mess.
“I’ve been assured that the process is not finished and the road surface will be improved.”
At a full council meeting last year, fellow Lib Dem Coun Steve Hunt quizzed the council on its use of the money set aside.
Though Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, confirmed 12 primary schools across Barnsley could see 20mph signs placed outside them in a bid to improve road safety for children.
A council spokesperson told the Chronicle: “Due to the adverse weather, we often see more potholes at this time of year as rain freezes, which weakens the surface of the roads and leads to potholes created by traffic passing over it.
“We have additional pothole teams working to resolve the problem.
“We carry out inspections of roads in line with our inspection and maintenance programme.
“We investigate all reported potholes, and how quickly we repair them depends on how the pothole is categorised.
“If the pothole poses an immediate danger to public safety, we’ll make a temporary repair within 24 hours to make it safe, followed by a permanent repair, if required, at a later date.
“Most reported potholes fall into the non-urgent category and will be scheduled for repair as part of our planned maintenance programme.
“Residents can check if a pothole has already been reported at www.barnsley.gov.uk/potholes and complete a short, simple form if it hasn’t.”