The UK Government recently set up a £168 million fund that local authorities in England can apply to in order to improve the state of their roads.
Local authorities that are successful in applying for funding are then asked to sign a pledge which sets out the number of potholes they are hoping to repair with the money. I believe that this is a great initiative, and I have urged the SNP to adopt a similar scheme north of the border that areas such as the Borders could benefit from.
I frequently speak to constituents who are sick and tired of having to travel along roads when they’re in this state, but the only way they will improve in the short term is if councils are given the funding to carry out the work. When our roads are depended upon by so many Borders residents each and every day, it is important that the Scottish Government provide means to improve them. Thanks to the fund established in England, councils south of the border will now start to see their roads improve, and there is no reason why the same provision should not be made in Scotland.
That is why I am calling on the Scottish Government to create a Pothole Fund sooner rather than later, so we can finally start to provide real improvements to the Borders’ road infrastructure.
There was great news for residents along the Berwickshire coast when Scottish Borders Council announced that they are to increase their financial commitment to the re-opening of Reston station. The council originally pledged £300,000 towards the project, but have now upped this amount to £1.28million. This is a very welcome commitment from Scottish Borders Council, and means that there is now significant investment behind the reopening of Reston station.
What we now need to see is this level of commitment from the council being matched by the SNP Government. Re-opening Reston station would provide a huge boost to the local economy, and provide rail services to around 10,000 people in the local area, so there is no doubt that it needs to go ahead. This will be impossible without further support from the Scottish Government, and they need to provide more backing.
When they have done so for similar new stations in the past, I can think of no good reason for them not to. Re-opening Reston station could transform the whole area for the better.
I hold surgeries every week throughout my constituency of Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, and will next be holding surgeries in your area on June 11 when I’ll be in Duns Volunteer Hall at 9am, and then Eyemouth Community Centre at 10.15am. No appointment is necessary so please feel free to come along if you have a problem which you think that I might be able to help with. Alternatively, please call my constituency office on 01450 375 948 and I will do my best to assist. For tours of the Scottish Parliament, please contact my Parliamentary office on 0131 348 6533.