Roads need £11 million in investment
The council will closely monitor the financial forecasts and explore opportunities”
WHILE the roads around Argyll and Bute are officially the worst in Scotland, the local authority is in the top five most improved networks in the country, a report to councillors will show.
The Annual Status and Options Report, which looks at the roads network throughout Scotland, will be discussed at a meeting of the Developement and Infrastructure Committee that meets today, Thursday.
It states: ‘ Despite recent investment, our roads are still in the worst condition of all authorities in Scotland, emphasising the need for continued funding to improve standards.’
It is outlined in the report that the health and safety of roads will be at risk if investment is not maintained to a high level.
The report outlines the current council roads strategy which shows that instead of continuing a roads reconstruction programme, it will instead use ‘cost- effective treatments such as surface dressing’.
The report states: ‘These treatments will target areas in the earlier stages of deterioration and help seal cracks and prevent water ingress (main cause of deterioration) to protect the previous investment ... until such times as more robust treatments can be afforded.’
The report shows that without £11 million worth of investment over the next 20 years, it will be unlikely the standard of the roads will meet the national status.
If the investment was made it would see the roads match the best roads in Scotland in 10 years and then surpass them in 20 years.
The report confirms: ‘The council has made an investment of £30 million in the past four financial years which has improved the overall condition of our roads network.’
The local authority has said it has upgraded 400 miles of roads in Argyll and Bute, representative of around 45 per cent of A roads and 35 per cent of B roads.
The report does not take into account the unique nature of Argyll’s roads but the local authority said: ‘... some of our roads are in a red condition when they are, in fact entirely serviceable.’
To mitigate the rising costs of the roads network, the local authority says it will ‘closely monitor the financial forecasts and explore partnership working opportunities to generate income which can be re-invested in our roads’.
Councillors will be asked to endorse the annual status plan and look towards establishing a multi-authority organisation (Northern Collaboration) to look at roads throughout the Highlands and Islands on a collaborative basis.