Road re­pair back­log needs Holy­rood cash

Coun­cil in­sist im­prove­ments need in­creased fund­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - Intimatons - Nicola Find­lay

Roads bosses in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang want the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to pro­vide ex­tra fund­ing to im­prove the roads network in the area.

An Au­dit Scot­land re­port has called for “ur­gent ac­tion” to im­prove Scot­land’s roads network, with more than a third of coun­cil-main­tained roads in need of re­pairs.

How­ever, the re­port states the num­ber of roads in an ac­cept­able con­di­tion in 2015 in South La­nark­shire stood at 66.2 per cent, com­pared to 62.5 per in 2008.

This is just be­low neigh­bour­ing North La­nark­shire Coun­cil, with nearby Glas­gow City sit­ting just above both La­nark­shire author­i­ties in the league ta­ble.

And from 2011/12 to 2014/15 Au­dit Scot­land found that there has been a six per cent improvement in the num­ber of coun­cil-main­tained roads in an ac­cept­able con­di­tion in the South La­nark­shire Coun­cil area.

The coun­cil also has the largest in­vest­ment pro­gramme in the coun­try, with a £126mil­lion improvement pack­age in place for its 2295km of roads network.

Coun­cil­lor Chris Thomp­son, chair of the en­ter­prise re­sources com­mit­tee, warned that the progress could only con­tinue if the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment pro­vides sub­stan­tial ad­di­tional in­vest­ment in the longer term.

He said: “We are pleased that the re­port re­flects both our com­mit­ment and our progress in im­prov­ing the con­di­tion of our roads.

“The level of our in­vest­ment in road and win­ter main­te­nance, which the coun­cil has broadly sus­tained through dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial times, also com­pares favourably with other coun­cils and is pro­duc­ing pos­i­tive out­comes in terms of im­proved road con­di­tion.

“How­ever, these im­prove­ments can only be main­tained and de­vel­oped fur­ther with sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment that needs to be funded by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

“While we sup­port the prin­ci­ples of col­lab­o­ra­tive work­ing across Scot­land, high­lighted in the re­port as a pos­si­ble so­lu­tion to im­prov­ing stan­dards, we do not agree that this will be the panacea that will de­liver the im­prove­ments re­quired.”

He went on: “While there are benefits, what we risk in the process is di­lut­ing the progress and high stan­dards that have been achieved by coun­cils at the fore­front of roads improvement.

“Through ne­ces­sity, South La­nark­shire has some of the best ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence in the coun­try that we must be able to con­tinue to de­liver, as some of the dif­fi­cult win­ters have demon­strated in re­cent years.

“Com­mit­ting the fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment re­quired to drive stan­dards up, is es­sen­tial at a na­tional level.”

Coun­cil­lor Thomp­son added: “Even with our improvement pro­gramme, we recog­nise that much work re­mains to be done and the trav­el­ling pub­lic should be as­sured that improvement in road con­di­tion re­mains a key pri­or­ity for the coun­cil.”

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