A LONG-AWAITED £10 million programme to fill potholes and fix pavements is going ahead. Local Democracy Reporter JOSEPH TIMAN looks at the newly-revealed “wishlists” detailing the top priorities in each area.

HUNDREDS of roads and pavements across the borough in dire need of repair will get a multi-million pound makeover after years of neglect.

A wishlist of work put together by councillors for each of their areas has now been rubber-stamped at the town hall.

Each of the 20 wards in the borough will receive an equal share of the £10m pot for highways and footpaths which the council announced at the start of the summer.

The cash, which accounts for the largest investment in the roads in recent years, comes after a decade of chronic underfunding and severe winters.

But the money is still only a drop in the ocean as the engineers say they need 10 times more to fix the whole highway network.

Councillors had five weeks to work with highways officers and decide a programme of work based on engineering priority.

Deputy leader Martyn Cox revealed the list of priorities which were approved at a cabinet meeting on Monday.

He said: “We’ve done a significant amount of consultation over the summer between officers and ward members. We got a significant amount of engagement from ward councillors. Some who accepted the recommendations in full, others wanted other roads prioritising.”

The capital investment programme was a key Conservative pledge at the last election in May.

It featured as the first priority in the 25-point plan which was signed by the Lib Dems, UKIP and the two hyper-local indepedent groups to put the Tories in charge.

The residential road improvements will be paid for by a £7m low-interest loan together with £3m from the sale of council buildings.

The borrowing will be funded by dividends from the local authority’s shares in Manchester Airport.

However, assistant director for highways John Kelly told councillors that fixing the whole highway network, which includes bridges, would cost more than £100m.

Lib Dem leader Roger Hayes welcome the investment but said there is still a long way to go.

He said: “It’s a welcome step forward but it’s a small step given the length we’ve got to come.”

The £10m programme put forward by the new Conservative administration will add to the £2m investment announced in the budget earlier this year when Labour were in charge which followed a £1.3m boost from the government in November.

Each ward will therefore get £600,000 towards repairing highways and footpaths, although some of the “wishlists” put together by councillors add up to more, which means that not all of the roads will necessarily be fixed using these funds.

Cllr Hayes said that the engineering department are “pretty good” at keeping their costs within their budget and asked what would happen if there was some money left in the pot.

This Is Lancashire:

Mr Kelly said: “We’ve got an approved list in place. If we are looking at additional lists that are not yet in place, we can pick them up. If members have other suggestions they can put them forward.

Labour councillor Nick Peel thanked the highways engineers for their hard work in putting together the programme over the summer.

UKIP leader Sean Hornby also welcomed the investment but said it does not go far enough in compensating for the millions of pounds that Bolton Council has lost over the last decade.

He said: “We recognise that this is quite a significant amount of money but this, in actual fact, over the last 10 to 15 years, given what we’ve lost – still falls short from what is needed in the long term.”

The work is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete.

WHICH ROADS ARE SET FOR IMPROVMENTS?

Here is the full list of roads to be fixed as chosen by councillors.

ASTLEY BRIDGE

Southgrove Avenue, Moss Bank Close, Holly Street, Nevis Grove, Douglas Street, Hatton Grove, Westgrove Avenue, Thornham Drive, Kermoor Avenue, Glencoyne Drive.

BRADSHAW

Hillside Close, Fairway Avenue, Riding Gate Mews, Bramhall Avenue, Ruins Lane.

BREIGHTMET

St Osmunds Drive, Roscow Avenue, Breightmet Fold Lane, Breightmet Drive, Blenheim Road, Carron Grove, Stanworth Avenue.

BROMLEY CROSS

Hospital Road, Cox Green Road, Hardmans Lane, Rose Hill Drive, Carlisle Street, Grangewood, Smithy Croft, Blair Street, John Street, Turton Heights, The Dell, Windsor Road.

CROMPTON

Almond Street, Seymour Road , Hughes Street, Newry Street, Carisbrooke Drive, Laycock Avenue, Nell Street, Ventnor Avenue, Beech Street, Cable Street.

FARNWORTH

Tennyson Road, Church Street, Albert Grove, Brindley Close, Church Walk, Glenbrook Gardens, Norfolk Drive, Hillside Avenue, Brookland Avenue.

GREAT LEVER

Settle Street, Crescent Road, Lowther Street, High Street/Bridgeman Street junction, Princess Street, Rishton Lane, various locations between Lever Edge Lane and Grecian Crescent.

HALLIWELL

Westwood Road, Bertrand Road, Bangor Street, Dickinson Street, Prestwood Drive, Gray Street North, Clarke Street, Northern Grove, Prince Street, Kirkhope Drive, Park Street, Shepherd Cross Street, Beverley Road, Victoria Grove.

HARPER GREEN

Skelwith Avenue, Lynton Road, Hawker Avenue, Woodvale Gardens, Bleriot Street, Glenmore Avenue.

HEATON & LOSTOCK

Elgol Drive, Arran Close, Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Melrose Avenue, Second Avenue, Aenby Avenue, Carlton Road, Brighton Avenue, Victoria Road, Rydal Road/Ernlouen Avenue junction, Armadale Road.

HORWICH & BLACKROD

Shaftesbury Avenue, Summer Street, Iron Street, Mallard Drive, Ramsbottom Road, Ox Hey Lane, St. Katherines Drive, Vicarage Road, Marsh Street, Rawlinson Street, Horwich North East, Hawksley Street, Brownlow Road, Douglas Close, Pioneer Street, Abernethy Street, Singleton Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Manor Road, Peter Martin Street, Jones Street, Nasmyth Street, Brady Street, Wilderswood Avenue, Latham Row, Duncan Street, Bank Meadow, Ridgemont Close.

HULTON

Longfield Road, Patterson Street, Morris Green Lane, Chilham Street, Georgina Street, Partington Street, Normanby Street, Westfield Road.

KEARSLEY

Pilkington Road, Church Road, Layton Drive, Presto Street, High Stile Street.

LITTLE LEVER & DARCY LEVER

Dalebrook Close, Independent Street, Norris Street, Princes Avenue, Wardle Street, Oak Avenue, Bentley Street, Lancaster Drive, Marsh Road, Wheatfield Street, Dove Bank Road, Lever Bridge Place.

RUMWORTH

Sheringham Place, Blackledge Street, View Street, Rasbottom Street, Park View Road, Beaconsfield Street, Cannon Street, Lanchester Drive, Quebec Street, Bankfield Street, Goldsmith Street, Burnaby Street, Ellesmere Street/Board Street junction, Derby Street/High Street junction, High Street/Bridgeman Street junction, Higher Swan Lane/Bridgeman Street junction, Rosamond Street, Pike Road.

SMITHILLS

Ripon Drive, Woodsley Road, Bentinck Street, Marlwood Road.

TONGE

Glaisdale Street, Halstead Street, Chadwick Street, Ilkley Close, Back Parkdale Road, Dorset Street, Castleton Street, Welling Street.

WESTHOUGHTON NORTH & CHEW MOOR

Wingates Grove, St Johns Avenue, Jutland Grove, Clough Avenue, Croft Street, Hornby Drive, Lock Lane, Central Drive, Rosebery Street, Fellbridge Close, Ploughfields, Greenfield Close.

WESTHOUGHTON SOUTH

Birch Avenue, France Street.