REPAIRING the borough's roads and getting them to a "steady state" would cost £70m, it has been revealed.

The calculation shows how much it would cost to fix the backlog of work on Bolton Council's highways.

The multi-million-pound figure represents how much it would cost to get the highway network to a sustainable steady state – but it would not be enough to repair all road defects.

John Kelly, assistant director for highways and engineering, told a scrutiny committee about the challenges local authorities face.

He said: “We are getting wetter weather throughout the year but also lots of sun. The rain is coming down in a period of time that’s extremely short and more intense."

The annual cost to keep Bolton's carriageways in its current condition is £15.1m. The highways department is expected to have a budget of £12.7m in the next financial year, of which £1.8m would be spent on urgent repairs such as potholes.

More than 4,000 potholes have been reported since April 2019.

Speaking after the meeting, executive cabinet member for highways and transport, Cllr Stuart Haslam, said the council is doing all it can to mitigate the problem.

He said: “It is precisely because the roads in Bolton are so vital for the quality of life and the efficient functioning of our town that they are an absolute priority for us.

"Since we took over last May, we have allocated £12m extra funding for the highways. So far 43 projects have been completed, and by next month all 20 wards will have had some of their projects started. All of the schemes in the programme are to be completed within the next year.

“Our aim is to maximise the funding we get, use it well and to ensure quality and durable road improvements.

“There are clearly many challenges in improving our highways. Our aim is to make highway repair more proactive in tackling the problems before they arise instead of having to deal with the more costly and more disruptive emergency repairs. Prevention has to be the watchword."

The rebuild cost of the whole highway network managed by the local authority, more than 1,000km of carriageways and 1,800km of footways, is £1.6bn.

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