POTHOLE-ridden roads are being left in disrepair for longer, council bosses have admitted.

The average length of time it takes for a Bolton road to be completely resurfaced is now 47 years — an increase of 16 years from 2005.

The figures, revealed at the full council meeting on Wednesday, come from the annual Asphalt Industry Alliance Survey (ALARM) every year, and cabinet member and councillor Nick Peel insisted Bolton’s record was better than the national average of 68 years.

However, he warned the authority’s performance could deteriorate even more in 2015.

He told the council: “We have quite deliberately diverted some of our one-off cash into much-needed repairs of footways and also into an extensive surface dressing performance, which extends the life of a highway, but is not included in the Alarm survey.

“I do not intend for one minute to put any kind of gloss on the highways situation in Bolton, as this relatively better performance of 47 years against the national figure of 68 years has to be viewed in some context.

“Our revenue and capital budgets combined have more than halved since the onset of Tory and Lib Dem austerity measures, targeted against local government and targeted against councils with the greatest need, especially councils in the north.”

Smithills councillor Andrew Martin raised the issue, and said the state of Bolton’s roads is a constant cause of concern for Bolton residents.

He added: “When you are on the doorstep or out canvassing, it comes up all the time.”

In June 2013 a survey from the Department for Transport revealed Bolton’s ‘unclassified’ roads, mainly residential, were the fourth worst in the country out of 116 local authorities.

They were also ranked last out of the eight Greater Manchester councils which responded to the survey.