Weather blamed for potholes
Councils handed £10m to fix damaged roads
Roads to ruin: Scotland’s crumbling road network will get extra funding (pic: Terry Murden)
Councils have been handed an extra £10 million to help fix Scotland’s pot-holed roads following the damage caused by the extended cold snap.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has allocated the additional funding to all 32 local authorities, with the details of the distribution to be agreed with COSLA.
Mr Mackay, right, said: “Scotland experienced unprecedented levels of extreme weather in recent months, culminating in the issuing of our first-ever Red Alert for snow by the Met Office in late February.
“By assisting councils to keep our road networks safe and efficient, we’re not only improving conditions for road users, we’re also extending the life span of that network – benefiting the wider economy.
“We have agreed a local government finance settlement of £10.7 billion, which will provide a real terms boost in both revenue and capital spending to support local services, including winter maintenance.”
The Scottish Government has released an additional £10 million worth of funding to local government for road repairs.
Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convener, said: “FSB has repeatedly warned that bad local roads make it difficult to do business in many parts of Scotland.
“While a longer-term solution regarding road repairs and maintenance is required, today’s funding announcement is hugely welcome. Many in business will hope it signals a change in attitude from government regarding the importance of local infrastructure.”
Daily Business Comment: Business leaders have called for a major repair programme to fix the crumbling roads which have become a brake on business activity and an embarrassment to the nation.
Whether £10m is enough is debatable, given the scale of the problem.
In Edinburgh alone major arteries are in a poor state of repair, including Queen Street, North and South Charlotte Street and the Toll Cross area where pot holes and uneven surfaces are also a risk to cyclists and to pedestrians.
The government’s extra cash follows the extended bad weather, but this is a long-standing problem of neglect.
Councils have spent money on poor ‘repair’ work which has been undone as frost breaks up the shovelled-in tarmac and leaves another hole. Doing the job properly in the first place would be preferable to the current ‘patching-up’ policy.
The condition of some roads brings shame on a country claiming to be one of the most attractive to tourists, and a great place in which to live and do business.